Judges gavel

Article by Libby McBride: A man who rode a stolen motorbike into a policeman narrowly avoided jail.

Joe Backhouse, from Upland Close, Billericay, admitted riding a stolen motorbike at a police officer in Chelmsford Crown Court on October 7.

He was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday morning (November 29), controversially pushed back a day so he could celebrate his 25th birthday.

On October 11, 2015, Backhouse was seen by police driving the stolen motorbike on Church Lane in West Hanningfield.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Prosecuting, Nicholas Cooper"]The police had been called by members of the public to a disturbance with motorcycles and quad bikes. The reports were of antisocial behaviour. The police officers attended and saw the defendant. He was astride a black Sukuzi GSXR motorcycle. He was at the top of the driveway of a house on Church Road. When police arrived they parked their vehicle at the bottom of the drive and there was a gap of three feet between the rear of the vehicle and a street sign. Constables Davey and Bernard were stood in that gap. The defendant turned the motorcycle around and officers described how he used his foot to point it down the drive towards the police officers. Then he moved towards the road, down the gravel path at speed turning to ride over a grass area and pointed the motorcycle toward this gap. The motorcycle was driven directly at PC Davey. The officer had his hand out to indicate for him to stop his approach.[/quote]

Mr Cooper said PC Davey used his hand to repel Backhouse which meant he came off the motorbike, which subsequently hit PC Davey and injured his leg.

Backhouse, who works for Gateway Construction, left school with no formal qualifications, according to a probation report read out in court.

The probation officer said he was "ashamed" of his actions and said he is concerned for the impact they have had on his family.

Backhouse had also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, dangerous driving, and an amended charge of common assault against PC John Davey, using a motor vehicle without third party insurance, and driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mitigating, Nathaniel Wade"]If I can start by saying something his mother said when I discussed the case with her. She said he is not a bad person but he has done a bad thing. It is clear Mr Backhouse knows what he did was wrong and it was out of character.[/quote]

Backhouse has one previous conviction, for ABH as a juvenile in 2008.

Recorder Maryam Syed handed Backhouse an 11 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, despite his "childish behaviour in the dock", she said.

He had been smiling at his family in the public gallery.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted byRecorder Maryam Syed "]I sincerely hope the rather childish way you have been behaving in the dock, that I was watching, will not reflect how you approach the sentence I am going to give. I have no doubt this matter has brought distress and shame with on them [his family]. I am giving you this opportunity and I wish you to be able to demonstrate this is part of your life you want to put behind you. I am going to give you a chance because of your age.[/quote]

He was also given 250 hours of unpaid work, he was disqualified from driving for two years and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

His licence will be endorsed.

Article by Libby McBride, Essex Live

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