A DRIVER has been given a suspended prison sentence for making an assistant chief constable and other police fear for their lives.

They had to dodge out of the way as Mark Andrew Ambury, 41, shunted his car back and forth inside his garage, hitting the garage door and wall, said Brooke Morrison, prosecuting.

“Officers were shouting at him to stop,” she said at York Crown Court. “The officers were very seriously concerned for their safety, believing at the time the defendant was intending to get the vehicle to hit them."

The then assistant chief constable of North Yorkshire Mike Walker smashed one of the car’s windows with his baton.

Ambury was tasered and arrested, said Ms Morrison.

Ambury, of Front Street, Acomb, pleaded guilty to affray on the basis he didn’t intend to injure the officers.

Recorder Andrew Dallas said Ambury had panicked, called it a “disgraceful and potentially dangerous incident” and said he had no doubt he had seriously frightened the police.

“It is aggravated by the fact the people affected were public servants going about the course of their duty and by the fact you were seriously in drink at the time,” the judge said.

He passed an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months on condition Ambury does 150 hours’ unpaid work and 10 days’ rehabilitative activities.

Ambury must also pay £425 prosecution costs.

Graham Parkin, defending, handed in details of how Ambury had tackled his alcoholism since the incident in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2020.

Ms Morrison said police had answered a call about alleged domestic violence at Ambury’s home at half past midnight on New Year’s Day.

Ambury and his partner were hosting a small New Year’s Eve party.

When officers arrived, Ambury had locked himself inside his car in his garage.

York Crown Court heard a van was parked in front of the garage which was a confined space.

Police asked him to get out of the car so they could arrest him in connection with the alleged violence.

He refused more than once.

One of the officers then went for a tool to smash one of the car windows so he could be extracted, and Ambury started his engine.

He was arrested and restrained after police removed the keys from the ignition. He was not charged in relation to the alleged domestic incident.

Mr Parkin said it was an “awkward” case that didn’t fit into any of the usual categories.

He handed in references that included one from Ambury’s employer and a document from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Ambury had managed to be sober for a year since the incident, said the solicitor.

The judge warned Ambury that recovering from alcoholism was a long term battle that took years.