Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Qld man who ran down cop faces sentence

Craig Aland Townshend faces jail time after almost killing a policeman when he ran him down with a stolen BMW in Brisbane.

June 4, 2020

A police officer run down by a stolen car and left for dead with critical injuries says every day of his miracle recovery is a battle.

Senior Constable Aaron Izzard’s family and friends were told the officer had little chance of survival after he was hit by the stolen BMW in Brisbane in September 2018.

The father of two fought back tears outside the Brisbane District Court where the driver Craig Aland Townshend, 36, had his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Sen Const Izzard, 34, thanked his family and colleagues for their ongoing support.

“They have been there and got me through the tough times,” he said struggling to keep his emotions in check.

“It was a struggle, a daily battle”.

Townshend pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol and methylamphetamine.

He previously pleaded guilty to a malicious act with intent, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Prosecutor Ben Jackson says Townshend deliberately drove the red BMW at Sen Const Izzard as he attempted to hail it down in Chermside.

“He accelerated and drove at (Sen Const Izzard),” he told the court.

“He was then struck and he then rolled onto the bonnet and that caused the windscreen to crack.”

Sen Const Izzard was then flung onto the car’s roof.

The BMW travelled for about 30 metres at about 60 km/h before he lost his grip and was thrown to the road.

A dash-cam video played to the court showed Sen Const Izzard lying motionless after the incident.

He was taken to hospital suffering a fractured skull and eye socket, bleeding on the brain, and extensive cuts and bruising.

He was also having seizures and spent 10 days in an induced coma.

“I will never forget the sight of all the blood and the intermittent yelling and horrified screaming coming from Aaron as we treated him,” an unnamed fellow police officer said in a victim impact statement.

Sen Const Izzard made a “miracle” recovery following brain surgery but continues to suffer from numerous life-changing injuries.

“He has looked these injures in the eye metaphorically and been able to a large extent, stare them down,” Mr Jackson said.

After hitting Sen Const Izzard, Townshend fled the scene and was later found hiding in his father’s backyard shed.

“He provided no assistance at all. He did not stop. He kept going,” Mr Jackson said.

“When he had the opportunity to make admissions he did not do so. He provided an account that as entirely self-serving.”

He suggested Townshend should receive a head sentence of up to nine years.

Townshend is expected to be sentenced on Friday.

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