New footage showing the moment a West Midlands Police officer was knocked down by a car thief who then ran over him can be shown, as the driver responsible was jailed for 12 years.
Mubashar Hussain crushed traffic cop Gaz Phillips in an unmarked police BMW in Moorcroft Road, Moseley, on 10 August, leaving him critically injured in the street.
PC Phillips – who has worked with West Midlands Police for almost 20 years – suffered multiple pelvic fractures and serious internal injuries.
He underwent three rounds of emergency surgery – including the first operation described as “life-saving” – and spent four weeks in hospital.
The 42-year-old was responding to reports of a car theft at 4pm on 10 August after a Range Rover Sport was taken from a car park on Tyseley’s Warwick Road.
It was tracked to Moorcroft Road where Hussain was found behind the wheel – alongside another Range Rover stolen the previous day in Sparkbrook – with fellow car thief Ahsan Ghafoor in the front passenger seat.
Ghafoor was swiftly arrested but Hussain – who was banned from driving for four years in May last year – fought back and despite being tasered managed to force his way past officers and jump into a police traffic car.
The officer clung onto the driver’s door but was flung to the floor and left on the ground when Hussain slammed the car into reverse when the 29-year-old accelerated away and drove over him with both sets of wheels.
He drove around the Moseley area at speeds of up to 97mph before abandoning the vehicle 10 minutes later in Ladypool Road, Balsall Heath, where he was confronted by armed police and detained.
It can now be revealed Hussain has four previous convictions for dangerous driving and has also been jailed for car theft and conspiring to steal motor vehicles.
He was initially charged with attempted murder but later admitted wounding with intent to resist arrest, plus a raft of other offences including dangerous driving, assaults against three other officers, driving while disqualified and two car thefts.
He was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (15/10) and will serve at least two thirds of the 12 years in prison. After the 12 years, he will spend another five years on licence and will be subject to recall to prison if he breaks the terms of his release.
Ghafoor, aged 24 and of no fixed address, admitted two counts of car theft and dangerous driving and was jailed for 28 months.
A victim impact statement on behalf of PC Phillips told how he blacked out at the time but came round in the road to “pain I can’t describe… but pain I had never felt before”.
“I spent two weeks in intensive care and I’m told the first operation was ‘life-saving’. It’s too early to say what my long-term prognosis will be and I’m certainly facing more surgery in the weeks and months to come.
“It is unclear if I will ever be able to return to work – but being a Police Officer is a job that I love. It is something I have done for almost the two decades, and will do everything I can to get back into policing.”
West Midlands Police Head of Traffic, Superintendent Dave Twyford, praised the bravery of PC Phillips and his colleagues.
“What Gaz did that day was no different to any other in his 14 years as a traffic cop: he was on the hunt for car thieves and trying to protect the public. It’s a job he’s brilliant at -there are countless criminals who can testify to that – and I’ve heard people say many times how he lives for the job and is a copper through and through.
“What happened on the afternoon of 10 August was nothing short of horrific. Gaz suffered awful injuries. He could have died.
“However, the doctors and staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital did a fantastic job, he’s come through several surgeries and thankfully responded well to treatment. In fact, he’s defied medical predictions with his recovery to date. But it will be long road to recovery, there is no doubt about that, and everyone in West Midlands Police wishes him well in that recovery.
“I’ve spoken to Gaz and he’s very grateful for all the messages of support and goodwill he’s had from members of the public… they helped him through some tough times.
“The incident itself has had a huge emotional impact on all the staff in the department, especially those directly involved. In the hours and days that followed there was a feeling of shell shock; several very experienced officers were in tears having seen their friend and colleague suffering what they feared could be life-threatening injuries. Without exception, none of them had ever witnessed such a violent attack on a colleague.
“We put in place support to help staff who were struggling psychologically with the trauma – and I’d say that in all my years of policing I’ve never known an incident have such a dramatic impact on staff, including myself.
“But despite the awful impact the incident had on our staff I’m proud to say they remained stoic in the face of adversity and worked together to ensure a comprehensive investigation was carried out.
“Hussain has rightly been put behind bars for many years for this deliberate act of grotesque violence against a man whose job it is to protect the public.”
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said it was never acceptable for people to consider attacks on officers as simply “part of the job”.
“The nature of policing requires officers to handle difficult, sometimes hostile situations… but assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable.
“On average in the West Midlands there are around 25 assaults on police officers every week. And it’s important not to forget that police officers and staff are people. They are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.
“When they are attacked they are victims like any other… but they are victims who’ve been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.”