On 16 March 2021, North Yorkshire Police officers spotted a vehicle on Bewerley Road in Harrogate that they suspected to be involved in the supply of drugs. Officers followed the vehicle into a car park and left their police car in order to speak to the suspects.
As they approached the vehicle with Mitcham in the driving seat, Mitcham attempted to make off and in doing so hit PC Lister, throwing him into the air.
Mitcham left the car park and was spotted driving at speed through the surrounding area before a police pursuit brought the vehicle to a stop. Mitcham was arrested and charged with dangerous driving. Officers later discovered he was already disqualified from driving.
Mitcham pleaded guilty to causing serious injury whilst dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to three years and two months in prison.
As a result of the impact, PC Lister suffered a severe fracture to his knee which he is still recovering from two months later.
North Yorkshire Police Detective Constable, Kirsty Smith, said:
PC Lister has served as a North Yorkshire Police Officer for a number of years and on the day of the incident was carrying out proactive work to prevent drug dealers from surrounding counties entering the Harrogate area and committing crime.
During this line of duty he was seriously injured following Llewellyn Mitcham’s actions trying to evade arrest. Mitcham gave no regard for PC Lister’s welfare and made good his escape where he was finally apprehended some 20 miles away following a police pursuit.
When you suffer an injury like this although we may be able to heal physically, the trauma stays with you. As police officers we know our job comes with risk but Mitcham’s actions and the long-lasting impact of these should not be underestimated, a fact which has been clearly reflected in the sentencing.