A disqualified driver from Swindon has been jailed after nearly running over a police officer.

David Watkins-Rudman, 37, has been sentenced to 21 weeks behind bars for driving whilst disqualified and assaulting an emergency worker.

The charges relate to an incident at the Apple Green petrol station on Great Western Way just after 8am on October 7, 2023.

While attending a separate incident, a police officer approached a suspicious silver Audi TT which reversed at speed and then drove off.

In a victim impact statement, the emergency service worker said: "The incident caused me to hold my breath from the panic that came over me, thinking that I couldn’t believe that this person was deliberately trying to hit me with the car, in a bid to get away.

"I’ve never had anyone drive at me before. I honestly thought that I was going to get hit by the car

"I honestly believe that he was trying to physically run me over.

"I have been a police officer for five-and-a-half years and dealt with all kinds of incidents within my career.

"I have never felt as scared as I did when I saw the car reverse and manoeuvre in my direction with speed."

After being on the run since this encounter, Watkins-Rudman, of Colchester Close in Toothill, was found sleeping in his car in the early hours of Christmas Day and then arrested.

The 37-year-old appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court on December 28, 2023, after pleading regarding the two charges against him.

Court documents note that this is his eighth driving while disqualified conviction and that  “the defendant has a flagrant disregard for court orders [and] the police officer felt in fear that he would be run over”.

Along with his prison sentence, the defendant has been disqualified from driving again for three years and 10 months, and ordered to pay £85 in court costs as well as £154 to fund victim services.

PC Matthew Coates, who investigated the case said: “Our officers are out on patrol on the roads of Wiltshire day and night to keep people safe and apprehend drivers who pose a risk to other road users.

“It is completely unacceptable when police officers are assaulted while carrying out these public duties, and I am pleased to see the courts acknowledging this and ensuring these offenders are taken off our streets.” 

Anyone with concerns about a disqualified driver should report it to police on 101.