A man who reversed a van into a police car in Weymouth has been jailed for more than two years

Storm Darch, aged 23 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced to a total of 28 months in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday 28 March 2018 after admitting offences of dangerous driving, assaulting a police constable in the execution of their duty, drink driving and breaching a criminal behaviour order as well as being found guilty of a charge of burglary following a trial.

Darch was also banned from driving for two years and eight months.

At around 6am on Tuesday 25 July 2017 two officers on patrol in a marked police car were driving along Dorchester Road when a white Citroen van exited the BP garage, accelerating across the road and cutting across their intended path.

The officer driving was able to take evasive action and they then saw the vehicle veer into a cycle lane to the left of the carriageway.

They illuminated the blue lights on the police car and indicated for the other vehicle to stop but instead it accelerated and drove off before stopping further up Dorchester Road.

The police car approached the van and was around two or three metres behind it when the van reversed at speed toward them. The white van collided with the front bonnet of the police car, before driving off in the direction of Nottington Lane and out of sight.

The van collided with a wall in Nottington a short time later and Darch was then seen in the nearby Mouse Cottage Caravan Park.

A caravan owner saw him entering the awning of his caravan with their car keys in his hand. He pushed the defendant out and retrieved the keys.

Darch persuaded a man in Nottington to give him a lift in his van but it was subsequently stopped by officers in Dorchester Road. 

As officers approached the van, Darch stepped out carrying a fire extinguisher and fired it directly into the face of one of the officers. They continued to approach the defendant and were able to restrain him and arrest him.

When he was taken to custody, Darch provided a breath specimen that was found to have 42 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Detective Constable Jo Blackmore, of Weymouth CID, said: “Storm Darch’s dangerous driving on 25 July last year posed a considerable risk to the officers involved as well as to other road users and wider members of the public.

“Dorset Police will not tolerate this kind of offending and I hope that the sentence imposed shows that those responsible will be dealt with robustly by the courts.”