Man jailed after crash involving Notts police officer

Mitchel Graham
Mitchel Graham has been jailed Photo: Nottinghamshire police

A man who admitted dangerous driving in a crash which left a Mansfield police officer with serious injuries, has been jailed.

Mitchel Graham, of Grange Road in Blidworth, who had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, as well as failing to stop after a collision and failing to report a collision, was sentenced to 15 months at Nottingham Crown Court today. He was also banned from driving for five years.

Mansfield South beat officer PC Diederik Coetzee was left in a critical condition following the crash, which happened in Blidworth Lane, Blidworth last November.

"This has been the most testing time for us as a family. Not only do we value and appreciate the selflessness of our loving father and husband, but so do the wider community of Mansfield and the police community, both local and afar. They obviously see the same valued qualities in him that we do."

– PC Coetzee’s family statement

The now 55-year-old, who joined Nottinghamshire Police in June 2001, was cycling towards Blidworth when a Volkswagen Corrado, driven by Graham, hit him from behind and failed to stop.

The car was later seized by police as part of their enquiries into the crash and Graham was arrested in Sunderland after he handed himself in at a police station.

Hundreds of messages of support and well wishes from colleagues and members of the public have flooded into Nottinghamshire Police for PC Coetzee and his family since the collision.

“Irrespective of the victim being a police officer, this has been a very emotive investigation. The brave battle by Diederik during his rehabilitation has been an inspiration to all involved and cemented the need to bring to justice the man who left him critically injured at the side of the road that night."

– Detective Sergeant Ged Hazelwood

Nearly nine months on, he continues to receive intensive rehabilitation treatment, and is making slow but steady progress.