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Man accused of driving directly at PC on Lake District road goes on trial

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN who denies being the motorist responsible for driving directly at a police officer on a Lake District residential road late at night has gone on trial.

Michael Patrick Kinsella, 44, denies two charges. One alleges dangerous driving, and another alleges the assault of David Tortoishell with intent to resist arrest.

Carlisle Crown Court heard PC Tortoishell was one of the officers tasked with locating Kinsella after he failed to attend court in Barrow on June 5.

At around 1-20am on June 8, the PC and a colleague were in full uniform on Claife Avenue in Windermere seeking to trace an associate of Kinsella’s. While there a Vauxhall Astra registered to Kinsella stopped half a metre from the officer, who had a “clear view” of the driver through the windscreen and prosecutor Arthur Gibson alleged, “clearly saw and identified him as the defendant, Michael Kinsella”.

After the Astra was “suddenly reversed at high speed” in a cup de sac, it “shot forward directly at the officer, who managed to jump out of the way”. PC Tortoishell was struck by a wing mirror but escaped serious injury, and the offending motorist left the scene.

When interviewed, Kinsella, of Steeton Road, Blackpool, provided a prepared statement. It read: “I was not driving any vehicle in Claife Avenue, Windermere, during the early hours of 8th June, 2019, and consequently did not drive at an officer.

“Whoever is responsible for this has been mistakenly identified as me.”

The trial continues.

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