Officer who lost leg disgusted at ‘flawed justice system’

A Thames Valley Police officer whose leg was amputated after a man drove into his patrol car has spoken of his “disgust” after hearing that the culprit is being released on licence ten months into a five-year jail term.

Sep 29, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Thames Valley Police Federation chair Craig O’Leary (left) and Sergeant Tom Dorman

Sergeant Tom Dorman believes the “justice system is flawed” and weighted far too heavily in favour of criminals after hearing the news of drunk-driver Hayden Brown’s early release.

Sgt Dorman, then a police constable, was lucky to survive after Brown drove into his patrol car in September 2018. He believes a five-year jail term was already far too lenient for the crimes Brown committed – and this latest news about his release is “a final insult”.

Speaking this week, Sgt Dorman said: “Where is the justice for the victim? I am absolutely disgusted to find out that Hayden Brown has been already moved to an open prison and will now be allowed to be temporarily released on licence.

“He’s served ten months of a five-year sentence. What an insult. The justice system is broken and failing victims of crime.

“How can the system be so fundamentally flawed that his actions effectively sentenced myself, my crew mate and his passenger to a lifetime of punishment, but he gets to leave prison months later? How is this Protecting Our Protectors and creating a culture where criminals who harm officers face the full consequences for their actions?”

Sgt Dorman has appealed to Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to look into the case.

Craig O’Leary, Thames Valley Police Federation chair, added: “We are shocked and appalled to hear that Brown will not serve the full five years he was handed. Brown chose to get behind the wheel, having drunk alcohol and taken cocaine. In doing so he drove into two police officers.

“His actions that day changed Tom’s life forever, and yet Brown has spent only a few short months behind bars. How is this justice for these officers? How can he be deemed safe to roam society? How will his sentence act as a deterrent? Police officers around the country will be disgusted to hear that Brown will walk free after such a short time behind bars.”

Reading Crown Court heard Police Constables Dorman and Wai-man Lam were “thrown into the air like ragdolls” when Brown drove into them on September 2, 2018. PC Dorman, despite suffering massive leg injuries, directed residents to find a tourniquet to stop him dying from blood loss at the scene.

Brown of Suffolk Road, Maidenhead, was found guilty of three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after the incident. He was jailed for five years at Reading Crown Court in December last year.

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