'Novice driver' jailed after collision leaves Merseyside Pc in coma

Chelsea Rowe Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Chelsea Rowe, 26, was driving on the wrong side of the road when she struck the Merseyside Police officer

A "novice" driver who struck a police motorcyclist, leaving him with serious brain injuries and unable to communicate, has been jailed.

Paul Briggs, 43, remains in hospital more than a year after he was hit by Chelsea Rowe in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the 26-year-old had been driving on the wrong side of the road.

Rowe, from Bidston, Wirral, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for a year.

The court was told she had been driving a Nissan Micra when she collided head-on with Merseyside Police officer Pc Briggs on the Birkenhead flyover.

'Shattered' lives

He had been riding his motorcycle to work for a nightshift on 3 July, 2015.

The married father-of-one, who is also a Gulf War and North Ireland veteran, suffered serious multiple injuries.

Rowe was described as a "novice driver" in court.

During the sentencing hearing, Mr Briggs' wife Lindsey said her husband's injuries meant it was "much worse than if he had died at the scene".

Their ordeal was "beyond torture", she said. "No words can begin to describe the immense pain.

"While Paul remains in a horrific state it is beyond devastating and affects every aspect of all our lives for the worse.

"We have had to endure seeing him like this every day, for many long difficult months now."

She said her husband was in an "unresponsive state" and has been "kept alive purely by medical intervention for so long, it has shattered all of our lives".

"I never knew that states worse than death existed until this happened to Paul."

Speaking after the sentencing, Merseyside Police's acting Deputy Chief Constable Nikki Holland said Pc Briggs had joined the police to help others in need and "loved" his job.

He was highly regarded by his colleagues due to his military experience, she said.

She added: "If ever there was a case that reminded us all of the importance of our responsibilities when we are behind the wheel of a car and of the importance of being aware of other road users it is this one."

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