THE driver of the car that hit Coventry police officer Christopher Burnham while trying to escape arrest has admitted being responsible for the devastating injuries he suffered.
Tekle Lennox had originally been charged with the attempted murder of Pc Burnham following the incident in the Holbrooks area of Coventry on September 25 last year.
But that charge, which Lennox (37) of no fixed address, had denied, was dropped at a hearing at Warwick Crown Court last month at the request of prosecutor Andrew Smith QC.
Instead, Lennox was to stand trial at the court this week on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist or prevent his detention.
But following discussions with his barrister Bernard Tetlow QC, he pleaded guilty to that charge and to offences of possessing cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
And his pleas of not guilty to possessing the three drugs with intent to supply them were accepted by Mr Smith.
The police had been trying to stop Lennox on suspicion of drug offences when the incident happened at a roundabout at the junction of Burnaby Road and Holbrooks Lane, on the afternoon of September 25.
Having got out of a police car, Pc Burnham was hit by a Mini being driven by Lennox and thrown onto the bonnet before falling off.
As a result of that, the married officer, who has a ten-year-old son, suffered a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a shattered knee, and he was in an induced coma in hospital for some time.
Mr Smith said the prosecution accepted the basis of Lennox’s plea, which the court heard was that the initial collision with Pc Burnham had not been intentional.
And Judge Peter Cooke observed that he had been ‘blindsided’ by a Transit van which he drove round before hitting the officer – but the ‘mischief’ was in not then stopping.
The case was adjourned until today (Tuesday) to enable Pc Burnham to attend the hearing, at which Lennox will be sentenced.