A MAN has admitting breaking a police officer’s arm after he dragged her screaming down a dual-carriageway.

Marlon Joao had just been pulled over for driving the wrong way down the A419 in the early hours of April 26 when he tried to flee.

Pc Joanna Halewood reached inside the window to try and remove the keys, but Joao grabbed hold of her arm and sped off.

READ MORE: Swindon policewoman's arm broken as car dragged her along road

She was said to be “screaming” and asking him to stop. In the end, her partner managed to free her after she was dragged a short distance.

The father-of-two appeared before Swindon Crown Court on Friday (May 27), where he pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on PC Halewood.

Swindon Advertiser: PC Joanna Halewood hit the headlines after making a drugs bust on her first day in the job in 2020.PC Joanna Halewood hit the headlines after making a drugs bust on her first day in the job in 2020.

The 39-year-old also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

However, the case could not move to sentence on Friday as prosecutor Tom Wilkins said body-worn footage of the incident should be shown to the court, which was not available during the short hearing.

Defence counsel Matthew Pardoe also requested a pre-sentence report, although admitted his client would likely end up facing immediate custody.

At a previous hearing, it was claimed that Joao did not realise that the police officer was hanging from his vehicle. However, Mr Wilkins informed the court that argument was no longer being advanced, and the defendant was pleading on a “full facts” basis.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court was told last month that Joao, of Merton Court in Eynsham, near Oxford, sped off from the scene near White Hart roundabout and hit speeds of up to 110 miles per hour in his 2011-plate Vauxhall Insignia.

He also drove the round way around a roundabout, drove through cones and forced other drivers to take avoiding action.

Swindon Advertiser: The incident happened on the White Hart roundabout in SwindonThe incident happened on the White Hart roundabout in Swindon

Joao was clocked at 80mph on Marlborough Road. The chase came to an end after he drove into a dead-end on an industrial estate.

The father-of-two, who appeared at the hearing via video link from Bullingdon prison, had previously been charged with attempted murder. However, after reviewing the case, this was reduced to grievous bodily harm.

As previously reported, PC Halewood, who previously hit the headlines for making a drugs bust on her first day on the job in 2020, has suffered a broken arm in the incident. A police officer said before the hearing that she is still being assessed for how this will impact her career going forward.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court was told last month that Joao has previous convictions for aggravated burglary and robbery in 2017, which can now be reported for the first time after his guilty plea.

Applying to the magistrates’ court for the defendant to be remanded into custody at the time, prosecutor Kate Prince said that he also had convictions for failing to provide a specimen of breath, criminal damage, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and two counts of battery.

“Mr Joao was drink driving, he tried to be stopped by two members of the public and he’s driven through a chained gate which they’ve put in place,” she said, summarising the incident.

“Again, he’s illegally driving on the road. Clearly the matters in today are an escalation of that violence and he has shown that he will do whatever he needs to do to get away from the authorities.”

In that hearing, it was heard that Joao accepted causing the injury to PC Halewood, but it was labelled “a million miles away from attempted murder”.

“There are a lot of diversions around Swindon at the moment, and his sat nav sent him the wrong way down a dual carriageway,” his barrister on that occasion, Stephen Collins, said.

After the short hearing on Friday, Judge Taylor remanded Joao, who spoke only to enter his guilty pleas and remained unmoved throughout much of the hearing, into custody until sentencing on June 22.

He ordered a pre-sentence report, but made “no promises” on what sentence that would entail.