Grantham driver jailed over police officer's broken skull

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Daniel NoddingsImage source, Lincolnshire Police
Image caption,
Noddings reversed his car with the door open, knocking the officer to the ground

A driver who knocked down a police officer after she went to his aid, leaving her with a fractured skull, has been jailed.

Daniel Noddings, 37, was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car at Sainsbury's in Grantham when Det Con Sara Willcock went to help.

He came to, but reversed with an open door, knocking her to the ground.

Noddings, of no fixed address, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Lincoln Crown Court.

He also admitted further charges of dangerous driving and possession of cannabis.

He was sentenced on Friday to 40 weeks in prison and given a four-year driving ban to start on his release from custody.

The incident, which took place on the morning of 7 October last year, left Det Con Willcock with serious injuries including a fractured skull, bleeding to her brain and severe bruising to her brain.

'Lucky to survive'

The court heard her brain injuries were so serious that doctors later told her she was lucky to survive.

She was in hospital for five days before returning home but was then bed-bound for a further five weeks.

Months later she has been unable to return to work, which she said was her "dream job".

Det Con Willcock told the court: "I'm five feet two, of slight build, I was in plain clothes, softly spoken. I'm not threatening at all.

"The hospital told me that I was lucky it wasn't a fatal injury. I thought I was going to die. It's not over exaggerating to say he could have killed me."

Noddings drove away from the scene and was involved in further dangerous driving before he was stopped and arrested on Princess Drive, Grantham.

Cannabis was found in his vehicle.

When he was arrested he told police he had fled in panic as he thought the officer was trying to steal his car.

His defence told the court Noddings was homeless and living in his car at the time.

"He hadn't appreciated she was a police officer," barrister Michael Cranmer-Brown said.

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