Police officer who lost leg after crash 'disgusted' as drink driver moved to open prison after 10 months

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·4-min read
PC Dorman suffered injuries when his patrol car was hit by a drink driver. (Thames Valley Police/Tom Dorman)
PC Dorman suffered injuries when his patrol car was hit by a drink driver. (Thames Valley Police/Tom Dorman)

A police officer whose leg was amputated after a man drove into his patrol car has criticised the “broken” justice system after hearing the culprit was moved to an open prison.

Sergeant Tom Dorman was hit by a drink driver while on duty in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in September 2018.

Despite being severely injured, he managed to direct members of the public to apply a tourniquet to stem blood loss.

Hayden Brown, of Maidenhead, was given five years in prison for three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in December last year.

Sgt Dorman's lower leg was amputated as a result of his injuries.
Sgt Dorman's lower leg was amputated as a result of his injuries.

During the incident, which caused such bad injuries to Sgt Dorman he had to have his lower leg amputated, Brown was almost twice the legal drink drive limit and had been taking cocaine.

The officer felt the five year sentence was already too light but has now spoken of his disgust at hearing Brown has been moved to an open prison just 10 months into his jail term.

Read more: 20,000 assaults on emergency workers recorded in first year of new law

Yahoo News UK understands Brown can now be eligible for release on temporary licence, which allows prisoners to spend some time away from jail, such as being granted day release.

“Where is the justice for the victim? I am absolutely disgusted to find out that Hayden Brown has been already moved to an open prison and will now be allowed to be temporarily released on licence,” Sgt Dorman said.

Sgt Dorman suffered severe injuries in the 2018 incident.
Sgt Dorman suffered severe injuries in the 2018 incident.

“He’s served 10 months of a five-year sentence. What an insult. The justice system is broken and failing victims of crime.”

He told Yahoo News UK that plans to double the maximum jail time for those who assault emergency workers to two years are “hollow” if the rest of the criminal justice system doesn’t also toughen up on offenders.

He said: “Anyone who harms and emergency service worker and receives imprisonment as a sentence should be treated, in law, as a dangerous offender, they should be mandated to serve at least 2/3 of their sentence, along with the other restrictions applied to those classified in law as being a dangerous offender.

Read more: Government considers doubling sentence for assaulting emergency workers

“If we can’t get justice for those who place themselves in harms way to protect others, how on earth are the everyday victims of crime ever going to receive the justice they deserve.”

The Thames Valley Police Federation, which represents that force’s officers, said Sgt Dorman is appealing to the prime minister and home secretary Priti Patel to look into the case.

Watch: Tougher sentences planned for assaulting emergency workers

The incident also left Sgt Dorman’s colleague with puncture wounds, fractured ribs and a dislocated shoulder.

A 19-year-old woman who was in Brown’s car suffered 24 broken bones and internal injuries.

“How can the system be so fundamentally flawed that his actions effectively sentenced myself, my crew mate and his passenger to a lifetime of punishment, but he gets to leave prison months later?” the officer said.

“How is this Protecting Our Protectors and creating a culture where criminals who harm officers face the full consequences for their actions?”

A general view of Reading Crown Court, Reading.
Brown was sentenced at Reading Crown Court. (PA)

Craig O’Leary, Thames Valley Police Federation chairman, added: “We are shocked and appalled to hear that Brown will not serve the full five years he was handed.

“Brown chose to get behind the wheel, having drunk alcohol and taken cocaine. In doing so he drove into two police officers.

“His actions that day changed Tom’s life forever, and yet Brown has spent only a few short months behind bars.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Northamptonshire Police Headquarters in Northampton with Deputy Chief Constable, Simon Nickless (right) where he met new recruits and saw a class training in first aid.
Sgt Dorman has appealed to Boris Johnson to look into the case. (PA)

“How is this justice for these officers? How can he be deemed safe to roam society? How will his sentence act as a deterrent? Police officers around the country will be disgusted to hear that Brown will walk free after such a short time behind bars.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Drink drivers ruin lives which is why we are introducing tougher sentences so they feel the full force of the law.

“Offenders in open jails face strict conditions and can be returned to closed prison if they breach them.”