Stamford

Jailed: Drunk driver ploughed into off-duty cop on bike before fleeing scene

A drink-driver who failed to stop after he ran down an off-duty police officer as he cycled home has been jailed for two years.

Robert Foster, 49, left the police sergeant bleeding on the pavement after he smashed in to his hybrid bike on Little Casterton Road in Stamford.

In a moving victim impact statement which he read out in court the Leicestershire officer described how he believed that he was going to die and began saying goodbye to his children.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the officer can no longer serve on frontline duties after suffering multiple injuries including a broken leg, a broken wrist and a deep cut to his forehead.

The court was told Foster had drunk half a bottle of wine before the crash and continued to drink at home after driving off from the scene.

Police quickly tracked Foster down after debris from his car was left by the road.

When Foster was finally breath tested a back calculated result estimated he was over one and half times above the legal drink-drive limit.

But during interview Foster claimed he heard a “bang” and thought he had hit the “kerb or something.”

Foster, of Northhumberland Avenue, Stamford, later pleaded guilty to causing serious injury to the officer by dangerous driving on Saturday, September 10, last year.

He also admitted offences of failing to stop after an accident and driving over the proscribed limit.

Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, said the officer was cycling home at around 8pm after a couple of drinks at a local pub when he noticed Foster’s car make a “sharp deviation” around a parked car.

“It drove straight at him, he estimated it was above the 30mph speed limit.”

Mr Outhwaite said the officer moved to the very side of the road but then felt an “almighty smash” which spun him around in the air

“There was blood all over the floor, he was losing conciousness, he thought he was going to die,” Mr Outhwaite added.

In his victim impact statement the officer, who has served with the Leiecestershire force for over a decade, admitted: “Being left like road kill, without a thought, has left me upset.”

Derek Johashen, mitigating, admitted Foster had a problem with alcohol.

He said: “Mr Foster is very sorry for what he did. He left the scene, he drank alcohol when he got home.”

Passing a two year jail sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Foster his victim had been wearing reflective armbands and had switched on his bike lights.

Judge Hirst said: “You left him on the floor, you left part of your vehicle on the floor and you drove off.

“There is no doubt you were substantially over the proscribed limit at the time of the collision.

“There is no doubt in my judgement you, knowing you had hit a cyclist, tried to avoid responsibility, first by leaving the scene and then by drinking alcohol to cover up your earlier drinking.”

Foster was also banned from driving for four years and must take an extended retest.

Speaking after the hearing the officer, who did not wish to be named, said he was pleased with the sentence.

He said: “As a police officer it is important to me that the judicial system is seen to be effective, and in this case it was.

“I would like to thank the local police in Stamford for their tenacity and quick detective work without which Foster could have been undetected until he had sobered up.

“The four year driving ban keeps a dangerous individual with an alcohol problem off the roads.”