x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Life sentence upheld for man who killed policeman in car chase

The 50-year-old caused the death when he swerved into a police car chasing him at 140kph, forcing it to crash into a fence and somersault 16-metres into the air.

DUBAI // A life sentence for a man who killed a police officer during a wild, drug-fuelled car chase was upheld today by the Appeal Court.

The 50-year-old Emirati SM caused the death when he swerved into a police car chasing him at 140kph, forcing it to crash into a fence and somersault 16-metres into the air.

The court heard that police had set up a roadblock on Emirates Road on December 27, 2010, to arrest the driver after being tipped off that he was under the influence of drugs and driving home to Ajman from Abu Dhabi.

When the driver arrived at the roadblock near Al Muhaisenah bridge between 9 and 11pm he was forced to stop his white Toyota Camry as five police cars were blocking the road.

One officer then stood in front of the car while another walked towards it and tried to open the door, but the driver locked his door and accelerated away in the direction of Ajman, knocking into the police officer AS.

Another police officer, SJ, said that he and his colleague AE gave chase in a Hyundai and managed to catch up the speeding Camry. He said they drove up on the right side of the Camry, while two other police cars surrounded him from the left and back sides. The cars were travelling at speeds of "at least" 140kph, according to police.

When the four cars neared Al Qusais Cemetery the Camry swerved into the Hyundai, which was thrown 16-metres into the air before rolling three times.

Police colleagues called off the chase in an effort to rescue the officers. They found the body of AE 45 metres away from the wreckage of the car, with blood oozing from his mouth and eyes. Despite attempts to resuscitate him he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other officer, SJ, was trapped unconscious inside the car, but was rescued and taken to Rashid Hospital for treatment. He was left with what medical reports described as permanent 80 per cent disabilities.

The police officer who was hit by the car at the roadblock spent 20 days in hospital for treatment to his left.

A 36-year-old anti-narcotics department major AH said he arrested the rogue driver at his home in Ajman. He said he found no drugs at the time, but that the man, who was unemployed, admitted using drugs in Abu Dhabi on the day of the chase. Another man, the Emirati YA, was then arrested and drugs were found at his home in Abu Dhabi.

Police reports submitted to the man's original trial at the Dubai Criminal Court in July 2011 said there was no reason for the man to swerve into the path of the police vehicle as his lane was clear of any obstacles at the time.

The driver denied the charges at the Criminal Court, but admitted consuming amphetamines and methamphetamines and driving under the influence of drugs.

salamir@thenational.ae