A DETECTIVE was injured when the suspect he was about to question drove off at speed, trapping his arm in the car.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the officer was forced to run alongside the car after driver Marvin Thomas accelerated away.

Police, who were in plain clothes and on patrol in the Deepdale Avenue area of Middlesbrough, had become suspicious of Thomas and his passenger after spotting a set of golf clubs partially covered up in his vehicle.

Prosecutor Sue Jacobs said the detective approached Thomas’s silver Ford Focus, showed his warrant card, identifying himself as a police officer, and reached into the vehicle to take the car keys.

However at that point Thomas accelerated away. The officer, whose arm had become trapped by his left shoulder, eventually freed himself after failing to open the driver’s side door.

Mrs Jacobs said his momentum caused him to stumble and collide with a metal garden fence. He was left bruised and in pain and required physiotherapy for injuries to his arm and shoulder.

Thomas continued to drive dangerously, narrowly avoiding a small child who ran out in front of him, before he and his passenger abandoned the car in Evergreen Walk and ran off.

The 41-year-old, of Rylstone Court, Middlesbrough, admitted dangerous driving and assault on March 10 this year. He had denied a charge of handling stolen goods which was not proceeded with.

His barrister David Lamb described him as a “pathetic individual” and somebody easily taken advantage of by those more criminally adept.

He said he had been asked to transport what it transpired were stolen goods and was told by his passenger – who has never been traced – to drive away at speed when the detective approached.

Mr Lamb said: “There was no intent to injure the officer and he apologises unreservedly.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton told Thomas: “This was a police officer going about his business, although the injuries sustained by him were not in the scheme of things serious.”

The judge said he could suspend a jail sentence on Thomas having taken into account factors including a disability he has and his lack of offending for many years.

In total he received a ten month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Thomas will be supervised by the probation service for 18 months and was banned from driving for three years.