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Jail for car thief who ran over police officer after hijacking patrol vehicle

Mubashar Hussain drove over Pc Gareth Phillips just after being Tasered as he tried to restart a stolen Range Rover trapped between two police cars.

Videograb of police helicopter footage of Mubashar Hussain knocking down Pc Gareth Phillips in a hijacked police BMW (West Midlands Police/PA)
Videograb of police helicopter footage of Mubashar Hussain knocking down Pc Gareth Phillips in a hijacked police BMW (West Midlands Police/PA)

By Matthew Cooper, PA

A car thief who ran over a police officer after hijacking an unmarked patrol car and then fled the scene at up to 97mph has been jailed for 12 years.

Mubashar Hussain, who has four previous convictions for crimes involving dangerous driving, drove over Pc Gareth Phillips moments after being Tasered as he tried to restart a stolen Range Rover trapped between two police cars.

Birmingham Crown Court was shown body-cam and helicopter-filmed footage of the 29-year-old struggling with officers trying to handcuff him after he got out of the 4×4 in Moseley, Birmingham.

Judge Mark Wall QC was told Hussain had removed barbs left in his skin by a Taser deployed by officers who surrounded the Range Rover, which had been stolen the previous day.

Hussain pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Pc Phillips with intent to resist arrest, as well as 11 other offences, during a brief video link appearance last month.

Opening the case against Hussain on Tuesday, prosecutor Andrew Smith QC said Hussain was wearing a balaclava when he reversed the 4×4 away from an arriving police car, while his accomplice Ahsan Ghafoor threw a house brick.

Several unmarked and marked cars had been sent to the scene after the Range Rover was seen driving dangerously, in convoy with another vehicle stolen from a furniture store car park.

Pc Phillips, who suffered severe injuries including a shattered pelvis, was among several officers who arrived at the scene on August 10 in three police vehicles.

The injured officer was discharged from hospital last month after surgery.

He was in court for the sentencing hearing, but left along with several other people when recordings of the events were played.

Mr Smith said of Hussain, who attempted to shift the Range Rover back into gear after it was blocked in and surrounded by officers in Moorcroft Road, Moseley: “He remained resistant even when a Taser device was used against him.

“In fact he tried to remove the barbs of the fired Taser from his skin.”

Police body-cam footage played to the hearing showed Ghafoor being handcuffed and pinned to the ground near the Range Rover as Hussain emerged from the driver’s door.

Hussain was then filmed struggling with officers, Mr Smith said, adding: “He began to get out of the car and was determined to use his physical strength to resist the police officers.

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Mubashar Hussain on the run (West Midlands Police/PA)

“Mr Hussain was described as looking in a rage and fired up. He reached the unmarked police car behind the Range Rover, despite being Tasered once more.”

The police car – which had been left with its engine running due to the swift nature of the events – began to reverse after Hussain got into the driver’s seat, the court heard.

Mr Smith added: “Mr Hussain then drove forward over the pelvic region of Pc Phillips before accelerating up Moorcroft Road.

“The effect was immediately distressing. This was an extremely shocking and frightening incident for all of the police officers involved.”

Describing the footage shown to the court, the prosecutor continued: “This series of recordings capture the critical events in a manner that requires no detailed commentary.”

Hussain, of no fixed address, was arrested in the Sparkbrook area by armed police after abandoning the police car and heading into a dessert shop, where he disguised himself in an apron and then punched a chasing officer.

Jailing Hussain and Ghafoor, Judge Wall told the men: “You went out with another person who has not been identified to steal high-value cars.”

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Supt Dave Twyford, head of road policing at West Midlands Police, leaves Birmingham Crown Court alongside Pc Gareth Phillips (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Addressing Hussain, who was surrounded by four dock officers, the judge said: “You are a habitual dangerous driver. The level of your offending is increasing and not diminishing.

“The police made efforts to detain you. They took hold of you, ripped off your balaclava and Tasered you when you persistently refused to co-operate. None of this deterred you from your efforts to avoid being arrested.

“Pc Phillips has been left with potentially life-changing injuries. The surgeon who treated him regarded them as life-threatening.

“His victim impact statement makes it clear that the incident has had a dramatic impact on himself and his wife.”

Hussain admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest, two counts of vehicle theft, dangerous driving, two counts of driving while disqualified, two counts of assault, assaulting an emergency worker, aggravated vehicle-taking, and two charges of having no insurance.

He was also ordered to serve a five-year driving ban and an extended five-year licence period following his eventual release.

Ghafoor, 24, of Fulham Road, Sparkhill, was jailed for 28 months after admitting two counts of car theft and three driving offences including dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving other than in accordance with a licence.

PA

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