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Horror moment cop rammed by car relived in court

THE man who rammed police officer Aaron Izzard with a stolen car, leaving him with such significant injuries doctors thought he would die, is facing a lengthy jail term.

Craig Aland Townshend, 36, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to committing a malicious act with the intent to stop a police officer acting with lawful authority when he refused to stop a stolen BMW and hit the Senior Constable before fleeing the scene on September 3, 2018.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars.

Prosecutors today argued Townshend should be sentenced to up to nine years' jail and declared a serious violent offender, meaning he would have to serve 50 per cent of the sentence in custody.

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard was critically injured in October 2018.
Senior Constable Aaron Izzard was critically injured in October 2018.

However, defence barrister Scott Lynch said Townshend should not be sentenced to more than seven years' jail.

The court heard Townshend was initially spotted by Sen Const Izzard and two other officers traveling more than 140km/h on Gympie Rd at Carseldine shortly after midnight two years ago.

After losing the car, Sen Const Izzard and two other officers tracked it down to a carpark before turning on their lights and sirens and cornering the vehicle.

Sen Const Izzard then got out of the car and motioned to the vehicle to stop but Townshend, a man with a criminal history for wounding, accelerated and hit him before driving off.

The officer was flung over the windscreen and left unconscious on the side of the road.

Two other senior constables who were in the car with Mr Izzard on the night of the incident rushed to his aid, telling the court today they were still haunted by the memories of that night.

Izzard suffered significant injuries and was placed in an induced coma for ten days.

"Medical staff advised his family he was unlikely to survive his injuries," crown prosecutor Ben Jackson told the court.

"From a neurosurgical point of view his recovery was considered to be remarkable."

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard amazing made a return to work three months after the incident. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Senior Constable Aaron Izzard amazing made a return to work three months after the incident. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Against all odds, the specialised Public Safety Response Team officer made a return to work after three months but is unable to drive a police car after suffering seizures as a result of the horrific incident.

"Sen Const Izzard was courageous when he got out of the land cruiser to order the BMW to stop and continues to show courage with how he deals with his injuries," crown prosecutor Ben Jackson on Thursday told the court.

Two other officers who were with the officer at the time he was injured say they have been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of attending the incident.

In victim impact statements read to the court one said: "I will never forget the sight of all the blood and the intermittent yelling and horrified screaming coming from Aaron as we continued to treat him".

"It felt like I was watching myself in a movie. I couldn't fathom what had occurred during shift," he said.

The other told the court his life would never be the same and continued to have flashbacks from the incident.

"I blame myself for not doing things differently... I constantly replay the occurrence in my head... replaying Aaron lifeless in the gutter," he said.

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Senior Constable Aaron Izzard. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Mr Lynch told the court his client said he did not mean to hit the officer and did not know he had done so until he had driven down the road.

He said the man was "grossly affected by stimulants and alcohol" on the night of the incident.

The court heard Townshend had also been given a notice to appear for drug driving and was expected to appear in court at the time he injured Sen Const Izzard.

"It seems to me your client has told a series of lies in association with this matter and so his credibility is not particularly strong in terms of self-preservation," Judge Leanne Clare said, adding it was "fanciful" that the man did not realise the car was stolen when he took it from a mate in September 2018.

Townshend will be sentenced tomorrow.

Originally published as Horror moment cop rammed by car relived in court



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