Ram­pag­ing man jailed af­ter smash­ing parked cars and driv­ing at po­lice of­fi­cer

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Man Admits Role In Drive-by Shooting -

A RUN­CORN man has been sen­tenced for com­mon as­sault of a po­lice of­fi­cer and dan­ger­ous driv­ing in Widnes.

Ian Bar­ton of St Paul’s Close was ini­tially ar­rested for driv­ing dan­ger­ously in De­cem­ber 2017.

He was parked at Whis­ton Hospi­tal to visit a pa­tient. The pas­sen­ger in the car with Bar­ton was wanted by the po­lice, who were then alerted.

The car was mon­i­tored on CCTV head­ing to­wards Widnes.

DS Smith fol­lowed be­hind in an un­marked car.

Bar­ton, 27, be­gan to in­crease the speed of the car be­fore brak­ing hard and then go­ing through a red traf­fic light. Po­lice con­tin­ued to fol­low him as he passed a junc­tion on fire sta­tion road and shortly went through an­other set of red lights into traf­fic.

At around 9pm on Oc­to­ber, 30 2018 while Bar­ton was on bail, PC Knight saw his car, a Vaux­hall Vec­tra and knew that he was wanted for fail­ure to ap­pear at court.

Bar­ton turned onto Hale Road and then onto South­way, a cul-de-sac with PC Knight fol­low­ing him.

His car was turned to face the po­lice ve­hi­cle and the road was very nar­row and full of cars so there was no room for two cars to go through.

As PC Knight ap­proached the car on foot, Bar­ton put his foot on the pedal and then drove at the po­lice car, mak­ing con­tact with the ve­hi­cle.

He then re­versed in an ‘ag­gres­sive’ way.

PC Knight drew his ba­ton and struck the screen on the driv­ers side, crack­ing it in an at­tempt to stop him,

Bar­ton went up onto a kerb caus­ing dam­age, in­clud­ing the dam­age of a fence. He re­versed the car again and hit cars be­fore driv­ing at the po­lice car again.

At this point there was a num­ber of peo­ple watch­ing from their win­dows.

Bar­ton then drove at speed at PC Knight, who had to run and hide be­hind a car and press his po­lice panic alarm for as­sis­tance.

He was de­tained and ar­rested af­ter try­ing to get away.

In a vic­tim per­sonal state­ment PC Knight said: ‘‘Whilst I’m a po­lice of­fi­cer and am trained to ex­pect the un­ex­pected it has had a pro­found ef­fect on me. I was sim­ply do­ing my job.

‘‘I ques­tion my safety and why I come to work each day.

‘‘I re­ally didn’t think I would be go­ing home.’’

In­di­vid­u­als in­volved in dam­age also sub­mit­ted vic­tim state­ments.

One said that the dam­age to her car had caused a ‘great deal of dis­tress and sig­nif­i­cant dam­age.’

The man whose fence was dam­aged said his wife suf­fers OCD and panic at­tacks and now, when she hears a noise out­side, she fears it is the per­son com­ing back to cause more dam­age.

Bar­ton’s de­fence said: “Mr Bar­ton is aware of it cross­ing cus­tody thresh­old. He’s a man who suf­fers bipo­lar and ADHD and is para­noid.

“He ap­pears anx­ious and vul­ner­a­ble. Para­noia is sig­nif­i­cant in the orig­i­nal of­fence.”

Bar­ton has been in cus­tody for a month and is strug­gling with para­noia – his de­fence wor­ried he would be vul­ner­a­ble and a cus­to­dial sen­tence would weigh heavy on him.

Deputy Cir­cuit Judge Nor­man Wright said: “You com­mit­ted an­other of­fence of dan­ger­ous driv­ing, posses­sion of cannabis and com­mon as­sault on PC Knight.

“I have looked as CCTV show­ing one of the ma­noeu­vres. You went through a num­ber of red traf­fic lights.

When ad­dress­ing the of­fences from Oc­to­ber, he said: “You took the de­ci­sion of not go­ing qui­etly.

“You weren’t con­cerned about ac­tu­ally as­sault­ing him, you just wanted to get away.

“These are very se­ri­ous of­fences com­mit­ted while on bail.”

Bar­ton was sen­tenced to 22 months in prison and a four year and 48-week driv­ing ban. ●

Ian Bar­ton was spot­ted by po­lice and ran two sets of lights be­fore hit­ting parked ve­hi­cles and driv­ing at a pa­trol car

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