South Woodford lecturer jailed for ploughing into policeman during ill-fated escape

Heybridge Way, Leyton, where Hassan Chaudhry drove it Pc Shopland. Photo: Google Maps

Heybridge Way, Leyton, where Hassan Chaudhry drove it Pc Shopland. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A former economics lecturer, from South Woodford, who drove into a policeman during a botched getaway has been jailed for 16 months.

Hassan Chaudhry, of Hermon Hill, was sentenced at The Old Bailey today after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

The 48-year-old ploughed into Pc James Shopland after police had stopped his car in Heybridge Way, Leyton, on May 11 2014.

Pc Shopland rolled off the car bonnet into the road, yet luckily was not badly injured.

Judge Paul Worsley QC said: “Miraculously his injuries were very slight. They could have been very serious.

“Indeed, sadly these courts have to deal with matters where death results from driving of this kind.”

The court heard Chaudhry was a hard-working family man, but his life fell apart after a domestic disturbance.

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He was convicted of common assault on a family member and was on bail for the offence when police pulled him over about another domestic disturbance.

Judge Worsley said: “Some madness must have overcome you because despite a police car having blocked your car, you reversed at some speed.”

Police finally apprehended Chaudhry after he had fled on foot.

Judge Worsley added on sentencing the defendant: “Only a custodial sentence reflects the danger represented to members of the public and indeed yourself by the way you drove.”

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