Man jailed for assault of woman and police

|News, Violent crime

A Staffordshire man who assaulted a woman and drove dangerously with a child in the vehicle, thereby injuring the child and a police officer, has been sentenced to 26 months' imprisonment.

Wayne Smith, 27, of Tamworth, was sentenced today (11 May 2020) at Wolverhampton Crown Court for battery, dangerous driving, wilful exposure of a child to danger and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

On Sunday 4 August 2019, Smith assaulted the woman in his apartment following an argument.

She returned home and reported the assault to the police who visited Smith's property, but he had fled with the child to Newquay, leaving a suicide note on his laptop.

The police sent him two messages asking him to contact them about the events inside the flat the previous night, to which he failed to respond.

He was seen driving north in the early hours of Monday 5 August 2019 near junction 22 of the M5 at speeds of up to 90mph.

Police officers used tactical pursuit and containment tactics to try to stop his vehicle. However, he evaded the police by undertaking vehicles at up to 90mph on the hard shoulder, before cutting across all three lanes crashing his Ford Focus into a police car in the outside lane, which flipped over multiple times down the carriageway and caught fire.

The police officer driving that patrol vehicle suffered head injuries which required hospital treatment but his injuries were, fortunately, not life-changing. There were no fatalities.

Smith’s car sustained extensive front end damage and was filled with smoke and dust. Police found the child in the rear footwell, and while there was a child’s car seat on the back seat of the car, it was not secured to the vehicle by any seatbelt. The child suffered reddening and bruising but fortunately no serious injury.

He pleaded not guilty but was found guilty after trial.

Kerry Moreton, of the CPS, said: “The defendant embarked on a very serious and dangerous course of action, putting his own wishes above the safety of others. It is fortunate indeed that no one was killed as a result. The defendant will now have some time to reflect on his actions while those affected by them try to find a way forward.

“The case demonstrates how the police put themselves in danger during the course of their duties and I should like to thank them and the lorry driver who assisted and gave evidence in the case.”

Notes to editors

  • Kerry Moreton is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands
  • Sentencing details for Wayne Smith (DOB: 25 Jul 1992):
    • Assault by beating, contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 - two months
    • Dangerous driving contrary to section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 - 16 months consecutive
    • Cruelty to a person under 16 years, contrary to section 1(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 - 8 months consecutive
    • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 - 5 months concurrent.

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