A police officer suffered an horrific ordeal after a robber drove off with her car, leaving her dangling out of the door.
On Monday, career criminal Michael King, 37, of Orton Drive, Witchford, was sentenced to over three years for the Burwell theft, which luckily only left the officer with minor injuries.
The court heard that King had attempted to snatch the keys to the detective constable’s Vauxhall Astra after she dropped it off at the Co-op Jet filling station in Burwell just after 4pm on January 2.
When she refused to hand over her keys, a struggle ensued, with King trying to scramble into the driver’s seat.
Eventually the key ring snapped, allowing the mugger to drive off – with the brave officer half inside it, still trying to stop him.
Shortly after, the injured officer was let out of the car at Ness Road and was able to call for help.
The crook made off in the stolen car but was tracked down by CCTV.
King’s own car had been previously seized by police in relation to other matters and he’d been on the run for several months.
He was arrested the following day. The stolen car was eventually found with false plates in Bedfordshire.
The Witchford man initially denied charges of robbery and taking a vehicle without consent, aggravated by dangerous driving.
He changed his plea to guilty at the last minute at Peterborough Crown Court on January 31.
On Monday (February 26) he was sentenced to three years and eight months for the former and 12 months, to run concurrent, for the latter, and also disqualified from driving for two years.
Just after being arrested for the robbery, King had also admitted committing a string of other crimes when he appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
These included 22 thefts across Cambridgeshire, mostly shoplifting.
He was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison for those offences, which means his sentence for the robbery won’t start till April 12.
Detective Constable Mark Beaven, who led the investigation, said: “King is a serial offender who has been a prolific thief in East Cambridgeshire and more recently Cambridge for years.
“The robbery incident was terrifying for the officer involved, who bravely attempted to prevent the car being stolen but had to get out due to serious concerns for her safety. Luckily, she only received minor injuries but it could have been a lot worse.”