Police officer testifies on underage car thief: ‘Standing in the way would be suicidal’

Underage car thief charged with the attempted grievous bodily harm of the police officer that stopped him

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A police officer who was almost run over by an underage driver last month, has said in court that stepping in front of the car would have been akin to a suicidal manouvre.

A 17-year-old car thief who drove a stolen car at a police officer earlier this month was in court on Tuesday after having been charged charged with theft of the vehicle, driving without a licence and insurance, attacking or resisting a police officer and attempted grievous bodily harm.  

The boy cannot be named by an order of a different court.  

In a previous sitting, Inspector Colin Sheldon explained how a person had reported the car as stolen in Msida on 17 October. Police RIU officers later spotted the car in Luqa with the accused behind the wheel and his girlfriend as passenger.

They had tried to stop it but the accused had drove off. Further up the road, he got stuck behind a van and was arrested.

Today, a police officer testified that when the youth had been stopped in a car which wasn’t his he got scared and drove off. The policeman had moved out of the way, he said, to a question put to him by defence lawyer Franco Debono.

READ MORE: Teenage car thief arrested after trying to run police officer over

“We had been on patrol and spotted a Nissan March convertible that had been reported stolen," the officer said. "As soon as we stopped him, he drove at my colleague, who pushed himself off the mudguard onto the police Ford Focus.”

A car chase ensued. The accused was stopped near Multigas and arrested.

The officer said that he had tried to block two lanes with his squad car, but could only manage half of both lanes. There was enough space to pass from the sides, he said. The other police car was parked nearby.

“Did he drive at you or drive to get away?” asked Debono. “Didn’t he step in front of the car?” asked the lawyer in an obvious parallel with the Liam Debono case.

“No. You’d be suicidal to do that,” replied the officer.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud pointed out that what happened in this case didn’t apply to others.

The car had passed between the blocking police car and the pavement, he said.

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