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5 August 2011, 13:56
An armed robber from Liverpool who was in a getaway car which ran over a Greater Manchester policeman, leaving him disabled, has been jailed for 19 years.
22 year old Christopher Jones was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after he was found guilty of taking part in a spate of armed cash-in-transit and bank robberies across the North West in 2009.
Jones, of Hale Road, Speke, was also charged with the attempted murder of Greater Manchester Police officer Gary Marshall at Partington Leisure Centre in Manchester on October 19, 2009.
He was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest on the basis of joint enterprise after being identified as the passenger of a car used by a gang of raiders to run over Pc Marshall.
Jones appeared alongside Christopher Shaw, 29, of Cambridge Avenue, Crosby, and Raymond Mallen, 27, of Bakers Green Road, Huyton, charged with conspiracy to rob in a trial which lasted five and a half weeks.
Shaw was found not guilty of conspiracy to rob and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on Mallen, who will face a retrial early next year.
The three defendants were arrested and charged in 2010, following an extensive investigation into Merseyside-based organised crime groups by detectives from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan).
Between June and November 2009, there was a spate of organised and ``ruthless'' cash-in-transit robberies across the North West of England.
On October 19, the gang struck at Partington Leisure Centre in Manchester.
They failed to saw open a security van, were disturbed by Pc Marshall, and rammed his police van, deliberately running over him, leaving him critically injured.
In a statement, Pc Marshall said his life had 'changed dramatically' in terms of his health and general well-being due to the 'constant pain and discomfort' in his injured limbs.
He suffers from lack of sleep and has become irritable and depressed. He said:
'I regularly have flashbacks and nightmares. I sometimes struggle to concentrate on the most simple things, as I find my mind wanders back to the incident.
'What has happened to me has changed me from a laid-back, happy- go-lucky person into an irritable, short-tempered man with almost everyone.
'Since the incident, I have endured almost constant pain and discomfort, especially in my left ankle and right knee and I now need almost permanent daily pain relief.'
Pc Marshall said he was unable to do 'most things a dad would do with his son', for example, playing football, cycling, running and jogging.
He said he had been medically assessed as being 45% disabled.
'My mind and body have been scarred for life as a direct result of this incident,' he said.
'I thank God every day that I survived this traumatic incident, but I would love to have my old life back.
'I was simply doing my job, protecting the people of the community in which I served when this happened.
'My life has changed completely and I would not wish what has happened to anyone.'