A MOTORIST drove directly at a police officer on a residential road late at night.

Michael Patrick Kinsella, 44, has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court and denies being the person responsible for causing PC David Tortoishell to leap clear in a road in Windermere.

Prosecutor Arthur Gibson, opening the case today said Kinsella was arrested last December for an alleged driving offence.

 "PC Tortoishell was one of the officers tasked to locate Mr Kinsella," Mr Gibson told jurors. "He had a home address for him. He had also met him on a number of occasions over the past 12 months.

"You may think PC Tortoishell would have been able to recognise and identify Mr Kinsella when he saw him."

At 1.20am on June 8, he and a colleague were at Claife Avenue to trace an associate of Kinsella's.

A Vauxhall Astra registered to Kinsella stopped half a metre from unformed PC Tortoishell. "There was only one occupant of that car," said Mr Gibson.

"PC Tortoishell had a clear view of him through the windscreen and clearly saw and identified him as the defendant, Michael Kinsella.

The Astra was 'suddenly reversed at high speed' in a cul-de-sac. "As the vehicle did so, the officer followed, shouting out 'police, stop'," added the prosecutor.

"Then the vehicle shot forward directly at the officer, who managed to jump out of the way." Although a wing mirror struck the PC's hand, he escaped serious injury. Mr Gibson added: "The driver who, the prosecution say, is Mr Kinsella, made good his escape."

But Kinsella denies two charges: one alleging dangerous driving, and another assault with intent to resist arrest.

Kinsella, bailed to an address at Steeton Road, Blackpool, provided a prepared statement when interviewed.

It read: "I was not driving any vehicle in Claife Avenue, Windermere, during the early hours of 8th June, 2019, and consequently did not drive at an officer.

"Whoever is responsible for this has been mistakenly identified as me."

The trial continues.