Man tells of moment police car reversed over him

A court has been hearing evidence from a man who was knocked down by a police car

THE pedestrian knocked down by police during an arson incident in Downpatrick, told a court of the moment an armoured vehicle reversed over him causing arm and leg injuries.

Gary Smyth was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of serving PSNI officer John Wright at Downpatrick Crown Court.

Constable Wright (42), with an address as c/o Downpatrick PSNI station, denies a single charge of careless driving by causing grievous bodily injury to Mr Smyth in the Meadowlands estate, Downpatrick on August 31 2014.

The prosecution claim that the officer drove carelessly by not seeing Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth told the court that he had returned to his home at around 6pm after spending the day drinking in two Downpatrick bars.

After falling asleep on a chair he said he was woken by banging on his front door and said a police officer told him to leave because of a fire in the adjoining property. He told how he attempted to get back in to get money but was advised to leave the area and headed towards his mother's who lived nearby.

"I didn't get to my mum's house,'' Mr Smyth added. "I was walking along towards her house when something collided into me from behind and I went down...

"I was lying there on my left side with head up and then I saw a car starting to reverse towards me and I said to myself: 'Oh 'F', not again' and that's when I fell on my back.

"Then the back wheels of the car ran over my leg. I was in a lot of pain. I was bruised from the top of my leg to my toes.''

Mr Smyth told the jury how relatives, who came to his aid, were telling him: 'Keep your eyes open, Gary, keep your eyes open''.

The court heard that Mr Smyth was treated for a leg and elbow fracture and was in hospital for a total of 23 days.

Under cross examination Mr Smyth was asked why he "didn't see or hear the car, a diesel car?''

Mr Smyth replied: "I don't drive so I know nothing about cars.''

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