A special police constable got his fingers stuck in a car door handle and was dragged six metres when the driver tried to get away from him, a court heard yesterday.

Part time officer Andy Taylor and a colleague were suspicious that Jake Woods, 27, may have drugs in his car after they smelt cannabis coming from the vehicle on a petrol station forecourt in Hardwicke, Gloucester.

They tried to detain Woods for a search but he sped off - dragging the officer, whose fingers were caught in the handle, said prosecutor Grace Flynn at Gloucester Crown Court.

Later, Woods was involved in a second incident at Michaelwood Services and in the Berkeley area after a high speed chase which ended with him crashing his car, the court was told.

Woods, 27 of Kingsmead Road, Speedwell, Bristol, admitted two motoring offences and three of assault as a result of the incidents on June 6 this year.

He was sentenced to fourteen months jail suspended for two years and banned from driving for three years.

The prosecutor said: “On Saturday, June 6th Mr Woods was seen acting suspiciously in his Ford Fiesta on a petrol forecourt in the Hardwicke area at 1.30pm by Special Constable Taylor and Police Community Support Officer Chloe Williams.

“He was thought to be driving in an erratic manner and became un-cooperative when the officers tried to detain him for a drug search after smelling cannabis emanating from the vehicle.

“SC Taylor removed the keys from the ignition but then returned the keys to Woods, who put the key straight back into the ignition, and drove off.

“But the special constable’s fingers were still stuck in the door handle as he drove away.

“PCSO Williams said she saw SC Taylor being dragged alongside the vehicle for about four to six metres. SC Taylor himself said he was scared of being pulled underneath the vehicle.

“PCSO Williams became frightened when Woods drove straight at her but she managed to get out of the way of the vehicle before he drove off.”

The court heard that the incident was likened to that of PC Andrew Harper, who was dragged to his death in August last year at Sulhamstead in Berkshire whilst in the line of duty.

Woods pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on Haycroft Lane and Swanley Lane in Berkeley; assaulting SC Taylor, an emergency worker, by beating, the common assault of PCSO Williams, failing to stop when requested to do so by a police officer and intentionally obstructing SC Taylor in the exercise of his powers.

The judge sentenced Woods to a 14-month prison term, suspended for two years. He also subjected him to a community order that included 30 programme days, 12 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a six month drug rehabilitation requirement course.

He will also be subject to monthly judicial reviews in court.

Woods was disqualified from driving for three years from June 8 and ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge.