Constable Peter McAulay leaves Ipswich Courthouse.
Constable Peter McAulay leaves Ipswich Courthouse.

Teen who ran down cop 'out before Easter'

QUEENSLAND policeman Peter McAulay was just doing his job when an encounter with a 16-year-old boy would change his life forever.

The teenager, on bail and attempting to avoid arrest, slammed his car into Constable McAulay, leaving the then 24-year-old fighting for his life with catastrophic, permanent injuries.

Today, the boy was handed a three-year detention sentence in Ipswich Children's Court.

But orders he be released in March next year, after serving half his sentence with time already served, have been labelled unacceptable.

Const McAulay was patrolling Ipswich in September last year when he responded to a call out for the boy's suspected stolen car.

He got out of the car and deployed stingers across the road to stop the car.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sped up to about 76km/h and swerved to avoid the stingers.

He struck Const McAulay, who was briefly carried on the vehicle before falling off, sliding, hitting his head on the curb and coming to rest in the gutter.

The boy drove off before mechanical problems led to him crash.

He was found about a kilometre away and then tried to blame his 15-year-old female passenger as the driver.

He pleaded guilty to a malicious act with intent causing grievous bodily harm.

In handing down his sentence, Judge Dennis Lynch QC determined the boy did not deliberately hit the officer and was instead attempting to avoid arrest.

But he noted the "catastrophic" impact of his crimes.

"Constable McAulay was almost fatally injured. It is miraculous that he survived," Judge Lynch said.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said Const McAulay had been handed a "life sentence".

He will never regain full mobility having suffered major leg injuries, as well as severe head, neck and back injuries whichrequired two months in hospital and 10 operations.

"To serve three years, and he'll be out before Easter next year, simply doesn't cut it," Mr Leavers told reporters outsidecourt.

"That shows you the value, with the judiciary, of the life of a police officer."

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