A POLICE officer feared for his life when a dangerous driver reversed into his parked vehicle at speed, a court heard.

Paul Morton used his Mitsubishi Shogun to smash into the marked patrol car on two occasions and rendering the officer temporarily unconscious.

Detective Constable Andrew Menzies is still recovering from the injuries he suffered during the shocking incident.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 31-year-old had for some unknown reason travelled from his home in Gateshead to Hartlepool on October 1 before taking the decision to ram the officer’s car.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, told the judge that DC Menzies said in his statement: "I thought I was going to be hit hit again. I thought I wouldn't get home that night and my wife would be getting a message saying I'd died."

A police officer said nothing like this had happened to him before. He said he did not dare leave the car at the time as it was a "protective barrier".

Morton, of Brearley Way, Gateshead, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and causing actual bodily harm, was jailed for a total of two years and banned from driving for two years following his release from custody.

Richard Herrmann, mitigating, said Morton had mental health difficulties and was suffering from a "crisis of sorts after turbulence in his relationship".

Sentencing Morton, Judge Howard Crowson said: "I've seen a letter from you suggesting you weren't aware there was an officer in the car. I'm not sure how much that assists you in reality. You might well have expected a police officer to be in the car.

"You are responsible for it. It was a very deliberate piece of very dangerous driving into a marked police car.

"The consequences could have been significantly more serious. They were serious enough. He continues to live with the memory of an event where he had a real fear that he might lose his life."

Speaking after the hearing, Cleveland Police Chief Constable Richard Lewis welcomed the sentence.

He said: “No officer should be subjected to any form of abuse when carrying out their duties and I hope today’s sentence sends out a strong message to offenders that we will take all steps possible to prosecute and bring those responsible to justice should anyone subject our officers to any form of abuse.”

And Hartlepool CID Detective Inspector Mark Hanson, added: “This was a targeted and potentially very dangerous attack on one of our colleagues who was simply carrying out this duties.

“Anyone who believes that carrying out attacks like this is acceptable can fully expect to be put before the court to answer for their actions.

“The injured officer is still recovering from the incident. Thankfully he was not more seriously injured, however, the impact of any incident such as this is not only physical.”