Shocking footage shows moment banned driver mows down police officer

3 March 2020, 16:21

Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

A banned driver who mowed down a police officer who tried to stop him has been jailed for seven years.

Tekle Lennox knocked down PC Chris Burnham in the Holbrooks area of Coventry on the afternoon of 25 September last year.

PC Burnham spotted Lennox driving in a Mini Cooper whilst on patrol with a colleague and beckoned for him to stop.

37-year-old Lennox, of no fixed address, failed to stop and tried to drive away but got caught up in traffic.

When PC Burnham got out of the police car and sprinted towards Lennox to arrest him, he sped up and mowed down PC Burnham.

He was thrown over the bonnet and smashed the windscreen.

The police officer suffered serious head injuries and needed to be put in an induced coma for several days and spent over a month in hospital.

Lennox was already banned from the roads in 2017 for dangerous driving and again in 2018 for driving whilst disqualified. He was also wanted for a domestic robbery.

At Warwick Justice Centre he was jailed for seven years and four months for wounding with intent to resist arrest.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Phil Caldwell, said: “The officers activated their patrol car’s blue lights and indicated for the driver to stop.

"Lennox, knowing he was wanted and banned from driving, made off and struck PC Burnham as he ran around the island to try and stop him escaping.

“The impact lifted the PC off his feet and he was carried on the bonnet for three seconds. We estimated Lennox was travelling at around 21mph when he struck PC Burnham.

“The officer suffered a very serious head injury and a shattered knee…we could easily have been looking at a murder enquiry."

Speaking just before Christmas, PC Burnham said he’ll be "forever grateful" to colleagues and medical staff who helped him.

Today he added: "I just want to say a huge thank you, not just to the police, judicial service and of course the NHS, but to the public - those who know me and those who don’t. 

"It’s just nice to know that fundamentally there are good people out there and they’ve supported me and family. Their support has helped me get back onto my feet." 

Coventry Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Mike O’Hara, said: “Policing is like a close family and the injury Chris suffered had a real impact on all of us in Coventry. There are many officers and staff in regular contact with Chris and his family and we continue to do all we can to ensure he has the best support possible.

“Policing is a hugely rewarding job, helping people in need and striving to make people’s lives better. But there are highs and lows and it remains a difficult and dangerous job.

“Chris has served the people of Coventry brilliantly over many years and I really hope that we will see him patrolling his patch in Foleshill soon."

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