Teenager appears in court charged with murder of policeman killed by stolen pick up truck
Published 08/10/2015 | 20:53
A teenager has appeared in court accused of the murder of Pc Dave Phillips.
Clayton Williams, 18, of Wheatland Lane, Wallasey, was handcuffed to a prison officer while he stood in the dock for the brief hearing at Wirral Magistrates' Court.
He is alleged to have taken a Mitsubishi pick-up truck during a burglary and, as he was being pursued by police, driven the vehicle directly at Pc Phillips, killing the father-of-two.
The defendant, in a grey T-shirt and jogging bottoms, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and answered "Yeah" when he was asked if he understood the proceedings.
He is also accused of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to Pc Thomas Birkett, who jumped out of the way as the car ploughed into Pc Phillips.
Williams faces additional charges for the initial burglary and aggravated vehicle-taking of the pick-up truck, during the break-in at an estate agent's in Oxton, Merseyside, on Monday, when a cash till, fishing equipment and electrical items were stolen.
Prosecutor Helen Graves asked the magistrates for the defendant to remain in handcuffs for the brief hearing and the application was granted, amid a heavy police presence in and around the court.
Williams kept his head down for most of the two-minute hearing, occasionally looking up to scan the courtroom.
He nodded as Alan Smith, chairman of the bench, told him he would be remanded into custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court tomorrow.
Williams is charged as the "initial taker" of the Mitsubishi L200 Challenger.
His co-accused, Philip Mark Stuart, 30, appeared at a separate hearing shortly afterwards.
Stuart, of Mayfair Court, Prenton, Wirral, is accused of the burglary and aggravated vehicle-taking and death caused by an accident, after allegedly being carried in the Mitsubishi.
Stuart, who has lost his right arm, was wearing a grey sweatshirt and jogging bottoms, and spoke only to confirm his name and give his address during the hearing.
He was remanded into custody to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on October 22.
Pc Phillips, 34, was trying to use a "stinger" type device to puncture the pick-up truck's wheels when he was struck in Dock Road, Wallasey, in the early hours of Monday. He died in hospital a short time later.
The officer, whose wife Jen, 28, and daughters Abigail, seven, and three-year-old Sophie, laid flowers at the scene yesterday, was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.
The stolen vehicle had been taken at around 1am during the burglary and police had pursued it for 40 minutes before Pc Phillips was mown down.
The pick-up was later found dumped in a cul-de-sac a quarter of a mile away in Corbyn Street, Wallasey.
Yesterday the officers' heartbroken daughters described their kind and caring "super daddy" in a moving video tribute.
Abi and Sophie made the memorial video to celebrate the life of the "best daddy in the world" and their mother released a set of treasured photos of the young family together.
At a press conference Mrs Phillips was too heartbroken to speak but the police officer's sisters, father and best friend spoke of a man who was dedicated to his family and whose life-long ambition had been to join the police.
Three women, aged 19, 34 and 59, and a man, aged 39, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Williams will appear at Liverpool Crown Court tomorrow morning.