Injured officer rammed in pursuit speaks after two offenders put behind bars
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An officer in Trafford who was hospitalised after having his car rammed following a pursuit of two criminals in October has spoken about the 'appalling' incident after the pair were jailed this week.
PC Stefan Bielizna - who has served the streets of Greater Manchester for six years - chased Jordan Begley, 33, and Curtis Coburn, 23, after they had attempted to make off from him in a stolen Land Rover Discovery in the Sale area.
During the pursuit, Coburn, of Kingston Close, Sale, reached speeds of 80mph in a 30 zone - as well as driving on the wrong side of the road on Moss Lane, Carrington Lane, and Flixton Road - before coming to a stop behind mounting the pavement and driving down a pedestrian path in Urmston that led to a cul-de-sac.
Coburn then reversed the Land Rover from the end of the dead-end street towards PC Bielizna's vehicle with such speed and force that it mounted the police car and shattered half of the windscreen.
PC Bielizna, a trained-pursuit officer since 2018, was taken to Wythenshawe hospital with injuries to his arm, elbow, wrist and glass cuts to his face. He recalls: "I was just on routine patrol in Sale - observing the traffic - when I sighted a suspicious vehicle and when I turned round the Land Rover started to make off which led to the pursuit.
PC Stefan Bielizna was hospitalised after being rammed by a stolen vehicle after a pursuit
"Throughout it they were driving on the wrong side of the road - well in excess of the speed limit - and then on Manor Avenue they slammed it in reverse and rammed my vehicle for the first time and threw bricks before they went on a grassed path which showed no respect for the public.
"They went through the dead end of a cul-de-sac where they've gone in reverse and rammed my vehicle again and ended up on top of the car which smashed the passenger side of the windscreen and thankfully I didn’t have a passenger in the car of they would’ve been more seriously injured than me."
Both Coburn and Begley got out of the car wearing balaclavas and made off towards a nearby railway track where they were arrested by officers.
While being detained, Begley, of no fixed abode, claimed he'd been gardening with his mother; while Coburn was found with injuries to his back, leg, and ribs after jumping over a fence onto the railway.
Manchester Crown Court was told that their trespassing of the tracks caused nearly 10 hours of delays and came at a cost of nearly £35,000.
The pair were jailed for 15 months in custody each after pleading guilty to a total of 10 offences between them, with the Judge remarking on it being one of the most 'one of the worst cases of dangerous driving' she had seen and was 'horrified by the attitude' of both men filming the chase.
PC Bielizna, whose 'bravery' and 'fortitude' was commended by the Judge, added this in reaction to the sentence: "Knowing my interaction with the stolen car and pursuing them now means they can't cause misery to people is a good feeling as they're off the streets and can't cause any harm.
"From start to finish - from me pursuing the offenders; right through to the investigation by CID - it's been a really good piece of work to put these men behind bars and it shows the lengths we will go to ensure the safety of the public and to get such people out of our communities."
Leading the investigation of the case, Detective Sergeant John Seaton, of GMP Trafford's Stretford CID, said: "What we saw during this incident was some utterly despicable driving from Coburn, who was being encouraged to drive even faster by Begley who filmed much of the pursuit as though it was something to relish.
"I do not think this pair realised that their disregard for other members of the public and road users undoubtedly put lives and risk - and particularly their deliberate intention to injure one of our officers who bravely kept in pursuit of these offenders so that they could be caught and brought to justice.
"I'm pleased that our investigation has ultimately put these two men behind bars and thus making the streets a safer place. It's also justice for the efforts and perseverance of PC Bielizna and the officers who caught Coburn and Begley, and shows the lengths we will go to bring such criminals before the courts."