IT TAKES a callous and sick individual to deliberately drive a car at someone and run them over.
Many of us simply would not be able to do it, but not Robert "Robbie" James Richards.
Not only did he do it, but he did it to a policeman, Constable Adam Blummont, at an alcohol checkpoint on December 19 2014. Thankfully, Richards was sentenced in Napier District Court yesterday to seven years' imprisonment after earlier been found guilty as charged. He had also pleaded guilty to another charge of wilful damage and for this he was given a further six months.
Another thing we can be grateful for is that Mr Blummont was not killed in the process. The unfortunate part of this story is that this incident has had a profound effect on Mr Blummont - "life-changing" was the term used in court. He received concussion, a broken leg and facial cuts and scrapes when Richards accelerated and swerved to hit him, but that was not all. He has suffered psychologically as well and probably still has nightmares about the incident.
The shame is that this policeman, who by all accounts was a good hard-working cop, is now considering leaving the force as a result of the actions of a lunatic. In sentencing yesterday, Judge Bridget Mackintosh said the victim impact statements issued by Mr Blummont and his wife, who were both in court, were "quite upsetting reading".
The judge also suggested Richards read them himself at some stage. I'm guessing here, but my instinct is that he won't read it. He should be made to read them and hopefully he will have some remorse for what he did. Pleading guilty to the lesser charge was a start, but hopefully in prison he will get the chance to realise the enormity of his actions.
In the meantime we wish Mr Blummont all the best and thank him for his service to our community.