Driver who rammed cop in horror incident jailed

 

THE man who nearly killed police officer Aaron Izzard by ramming him with a stolen car has been jailed for 10 years.

Craig Aland Townshend, 36, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to committing a malicious act that caused grievous bodily harm to the Senior Constable when he refused to stop a stolen BMW and hit the man before fleeing the scene on September 3, 2018.

Horror moment cop rammed by car relived in court

He was today sentenced to 10 years' jail and deemed a serious violent offender.

The declaration means he will not be released on parole until 80 per cent of the sentence has been served.

Townshend has already served 641 days on remand.

In sentencing, Judge Leanne Clare said: "You mowed the officer down and it was both cowardly and callous".

She said Sen Const Izzard's recovery was a testament to medical staff and the man's ability to carry on, as doctors told his family to "prepare for his death".

Judge Clare said despite the police officers miraculously recovery he had "already lost so much".

"He has lost the most important memories of his former life, he cannot remember the birth of his own children," she said.

Sen Const Izzard said he has a traumatic brain injury due to the accident.

He cracked his skull, had a broken eye socket, tore his rotator cuffs, chipped his teeth and burst an ear drum.

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard was critically injured in October 2018.
Senior Constable Aaron Izzard was critically injured in October 2018.

"Whilst I was in hospital, doctors told my family was told I was not going to survive the injuries caused by the impact of the vehicle and they should start planning my funeral," he said in his victim impact statement, which was tendered to the court.

"Doctors said if by chance I woke up, I would never talk, walk or have memory again."

Sen Const Izzard was on life support for 10 days in the intensive care unit and lost 28kg.

"Whilst I have no recollection of the incident itself, the physical, mental and emotional injuries that I have suffered and continue to endure on a daily basis as a direct result of the defendants actions, are something which is extremely difficult to put into words," he said.

"My first memory after the incident, was of waking up and finding myself sitting in a wheel chair with a catheter inserted into my body."

Sen Const Izzard said he had to learn to walk and talk again.

"I had no control of my mouth, continually dribbling saliva onto myself and unable to put a string of words together to ask questions or speak to anyone around me," he said.

"I felt completely useless, redundant and depressed. I was told by doctors I would not walk, run or play with my young children again. I had to try and come to terms this was going to be new reality.

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard amazing made a return to work three months after the incident. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Senior Constable Aaron Izzard amazing made a return to work three months after the incident. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

"I felt I had become a child at daycare once again, relearning the alphabet and stringing a sentence together even though I continued to see myself as a fit and strong 33-year-old male," he said.

Sen Const Izzard lost his sense of smell and taste. He also had significant memory loss.

He said he was out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars and his career path was now uncertain.

He said his life expectancy was not known.

"There are no words which I can put on paper which would sufficiently describe my feelings and the pain I feel to know in all likelihood my children will have to bury me and the impact this will have on them and their lives moving into the future," he said.

"I may not be there to share birthdays, Father's Day, see them graduate from school, get their first jobs, walk my daughter down the aisle and every other milestone of their lives."

Townshend was also sentenced to 15 months' jail for unlawful use of a motor vehicle and three months behind bars for drug driving.

The sentences are to be served concurrently.

Originally published as Driver who rammed cop in horror incident jailed


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