A POLICE officer said he clearly recognised a motorist who drove directly at him late at night.

Michael Patrick Kinsella, 44, is alleged to have driven straight at PC David Tortoishell in the early hours of June 8.

But Kinsella denies charges alleging dangerous driving and assault with intent to resist arrest, and is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

PC Tortoishell and other officers were tasked with locating Kinsella after he failed to attend court in Barrow on June 5. At 1.20am on June 8, he and a colleague went to Claife Avenue, Windermere, where an associate of Kinsella's lived.

After they parked their vehicles, a Vauxhall Astra came around a corner.

PC Tortoishell told jurors he saw the driver was Kinsella, to whom the vehicle had been registered since February. He had spoken to him in person twice before.

After the uniformed PC signalled for the driver to stop, it 'reversed at speed' into a cul de sac 10 metres away and was then driven, the officer said, straight at him 'with no attempt to deviate'.

"The engine was being revved very loudly as if the driver was keen to get away from me as quickly as possible," said PC Tortoishell. "When I realised the driver was coming straight towards me I jumped to my left so I remained on the pavement."

Had he not done so, he stated: "I would have gone over the bonnet." The wing mirror clipped his hand as the Astra drove off.

"Because of the proximity of the driver's side window as the vehicle passed me, I could see directly through the window and into the car, and could see the driver quite clearly," he said. "I had no doubt whatsoever that it was Mr Kinsella."

Kinsella, of Steeton Road, Blackpool, was arrested the following night while driving a different vehicle in Windermere.

He later provided a prepared statement which 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 has been mistakenly identified as me."

Another man initially contacted police to say he drove the Astra that night. But he later he 'had been threatened into saying he had by Mr Kinsella', the court heard.

The trial continues.