Cumbria Crack

White van man hit police officers after refusing to stop during Appleby Fair

Gerard Richard Monk outside Carlisle Crown Court

A WHITE van man who drove at police officers controlling heavy traffic flow at the Appleby horse fair has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today (FRI) how Gerard Richard Monk actually struck two PCs and one patrol vehicle after becoming frustrated after a hard day at work on the evening of June 5.

While travelling along Roman Road during the traditional annual gathering – which attracts many thousands of visitors – Monk, 38, refused to stop his Ford Transit despite police on foot signalling for him to do so.

Two had to jump out of his path, one was struck on the hand as she desperately protected her face as the van’s wing mirror approached and another PC had his foot driven over while placing his hands on the van bonnet in a bid to halt it.

A police vehicle was also struck a glancing blow and damaged as Monk drove on. He was described as “foaming at the mouth” and aggressive when officers visited his home in nearby Dufton the next day, but calmed down and apologised when handcuffed.

“I was just trying to get home from work,” he later said. “I panicked and it just got worse and worse. I realise I should have stopped.”

“Genuinely remorseful”, Monk admitted dangerous driving and was sentenced by Recorder Richard Archer, who heard details of the defendant’s personal circumstances and positive character.

An eight-month jail term was suspended for 18 months. Monk must complete a three-month night-time curfew, and rehabilitation. He was banned from driving for a year and must take an extended re-test.”

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