Drug driver attacked man with metal pole and spat at police

A custody image of Ricky Howley.

Ricky Howley was involved in a series of incidents in Peterborough. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A drug driver attacked a man with a metal pole, crashed his car and spat in a police officer's face, in a series of incidents in Peterborough.

On June 26, 2020, Ricky Howley was driving a white Seat Leon when he became involved in an argument with a man and a woman in another car. 

The 32-year-old, after arguing with the man in a carpark in Chadburn, produced a two-foot long metal pole from the boot of his car.

He then struck his victim on the side of the head, causing a gash that later had to be glued together.

The victim took pictures of Howley's car as he exited the scene, leading to the man's arrest the following week.

Howley was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm, without intent, before being released on court bail.

A black Ford Focus, crumpled at the front.

Ricky Howley crashed his car after hitting speed bumps at high speed. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Following this, on July 18, 2021, Howley was driving a black Ford Focus in Hargate Way.

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After overtaking another vehicle at high speed in a 30mph area, the man hit speed bumps and lost control.

Narrowly missing a row of parked cars, Howley's Ford Focus collided with fencing and a green metal communications box. 

This left residents nearby with no internet access.

A member of the public went to Howley's aid, but he quickly fled the scene.

The man gave chase, and phoned Cambridgeshire Police.

A smashed green metal communications box.

Howley's crash took out a green metal communications box, leaving local residents with no internet access. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Officers found Howley in Shore View, with a suspected head injury.

Howley was described as "obstructive", hurling verbal abuse at the police and spitting in the face of one officer.

He also refused to take a roadside breath test.

Whilst being taken to hospital in a police van, Howley fought with officers and had to be restrained when the van finally reached its destination.

A blood sample was taken at the hospital, showing both cannabis and cocaine in Howley's system.

When he was searched, officers found a small amount of cannabis on his person.

Ricky Howley, of Greenham in Bretton, admitted to inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent, assault by beating of an emergency worker, two counts of dangerous driving, two of failing to stop after a collision, driving without insurance, possession of cannabis, two counts of drug driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

On Tuesday (May 24), Howley appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, where he was jailed for two years and four months.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and six months.

Police constable Thomas Hughes, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: "Howley’s behaviour was despicable. It is only luck that nobody else was injured when he crashed his car.

“To spit at an officer who was concerned for his welfare is truly disgraceful. We won’t tolerate attacks on our officers and we will always seek to prosecute those who choose to assault them simply for trying to do their job.

“I’m pleased that he has been jailed and I hope the additional driving ban will help to make our roads a bit safer when he is released.”