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Man jailed for stealing police car with dog inside from Chigwell street

PUBLISHED: 16:08 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 17 March 2017

Tony Turner (Picture: Essex Police)

Tony Turner (Picture: Essex Police)

Essex Police

A man who assaulted a police officer before stealing his car with a police dog inside it has today been jailed for two and a half years.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Tony Turner, of Vincent Road, Dagenham, was seen walking along Pudding Lane, Chigwell, shortly before midnight on October 31, 2015, by a police officer who had been called to reports of a silver BMW crashing into a hedge.

The officer carried out a roadside breath test but Turner, 36, then headbutted and punched him several times in the head – which led to the officer requiring hospital treatment.

He them stole the officer’s police car, which had a police dog inside it at the time, and later abandoned it in Frinton Road, Romford.

The dog was found to be unharmed.

Detectives found Turner’s DNA inside the police car and on the breath test device. Checks also found that he had no driving licence or insurance.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was arrested after trying to board a train to France on Friday, January 20 this year.

On Friday, Turner was handed an 18 month sentence for assault and a 15 month sentence for aggravated vehicle taking, to run concurrently, plus a 12 month term for furnishing false information to police, to run consecutively. He had previously admitted all the charges.

He was also banned from driving for eight and a half years after admitting driving without a licence or insurance.

T/Chief Supt Trevor Roe said: “Turner carried out a violent assault, head-butting a police officer who was carrying out his duties to keep the people of Essex safe.

“He got behind the wheel of a car without insurance or a licence and escaped by attacking a police officer and fleeing in his police car before attempting to leave the country and evade justice.

“We will not tolerate violence being used against our officers and I’m sure people across the county are as pleased as I am that Turner has been handed a substantial prison sentence and a driving ban that stretches close to a decade.”

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