North Yorkshire Police officer who suffered blood clots on his lungs and fractured knee after being mowed down by drug dealer in Harrogate may never return to full duty, court hears

A North Yorkshire Police officer who suffered a pulmonary embolism on his lungs and a fractured knee when he was mowed down by a drug dealer will have to remain on medication for the rest of his life and may never be able to return to full duty, a court heard.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:16 am

Llewylln Mitcham, 30, deliberately drove his Vauxhall Insignia at PC Thomas Lister - hitting him on his left side and catapulting him into the air, before he hit the car bonnet and landed on the floor.

Mitcham had been brought to the attention of North Yorkshire Police as part of an operation to tackle drug dealing in Harrogate on March 16.

Prosecuting Daniel Cordey said: "The defendant's vehicle had been circulated as being of interest in drugs supply across Harrogate.

JAILED: Llewylln Mitcham

"Officers first spotted the vehicle near The Majestic Hotel, but it drove off before they could speak to the occupants.

"PC Lister was notified of the vehicle travelling along Ripon Road at around 3.30pm. He and his colleague PC Bell saw the vehicle reverse into a private car park.

"PC Lister drove into the car park and stopped just in the entrance facing the defendant's vehicle.

"He got out of the vehicle before approaching the driver's side. He was wearing jeans and a hoody but he had his police harness on.

"At this point the defendant started to pull out the parking bay. PC Lister walked around the back of the vehicle and shouted loudly and presented himself as a police officer while PC Bell was close enough to the car to smell cannabis.

"The defendant suddenly accelerated and the defendant's vehicle headed towards the gap. PC Lister thought the gap was too small for the car to get through and his leg was hit by the bumper of the vehicle and he was thrown up into the air and on the bonnet of the Vauxhall before hitting the floor."

After hitting the officer, Mitcham fled the scene and was pursued in a high-speed chase by other officers along the A59 towards Bolton Abbey.

York Crown Court heard how he dangerously overtook other vehicles, travelling at 50mph in a 20mph zone close to a primary school.

He turned into Bewerley Road - a cul-de-sac - before coming to a stop and was arrested by police.

Mr Cordey said: "Indeed when the defendant was arrested by the officers, he asked 'the copper I hit, he's not dead is he?'

"The defendant's vehicle was searched and a baton, along with 16 wraps of class A drugs were recovered."

PC Lister was taken to Harrogate District Hospital where he stayed for two nights for his leg injuries.

The court heard how after being discharged he began to experience chest pain and struggled to breathe. He was admitted back to hospital where a scan revealed a pulmonary embolism on his lungs.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, PC Lister said: "My quality of life has changed dramatically.

"I have to sleep on the sofa due to the pain when lying down.

"I am having to take daily medication for the next six months for the blood clots on my lungs and may have to for the rest of my life.

"I am unable to take care of my children and I am in a lot of pain all of the time.

"I am anxious about what this means for the rest of my career."

Mitcham, of Harold Place, Leeds, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

The court heard how he had a number of previous convictions for the supply of drugs and dangerous driving and had also injured officers when trying to evade arrest some years earlier.

In mitigation, Glenn Parsons said Mitcham had written a personal letter to PC Lister expressing his remorse and that his "underlying issues with drugs" had deeply affected his behaviour.

The father-of-two wiped away tears as Mr Parsons explained how a custodial sentence would have a profound effect on his two young children.

Judge Simon Hickey said the case was one of the most serious of its kind and that PC Lister's medical reports, along with his statement were "sober reading for any judge in this crown court".

Hickey sentenced Mitcham to three years and two months in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for 79 months.