A police officer suffered "catastrophic" injuries after being struck by a stolen vehicle being driven by a teenager in a "determined and ruthless attempt to avoid being apprehended", a court has heard.
Merseyside Police Constable Dave Phillips, 34, was trying to stop 18-year-old Clayton Williams, who had stolen a Mitsubishi 4x4 in the early hours of 5 October last year in the Wirral, a jury was told.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Ian Unsworth QC told the court Williams had driven for several miles across the Wirral before being spotted by an unmarked police car.
A chase began and the vehicle was joined by a marked police car, which was fitted with a dashboard camera, the jury heard.
Manchester Crown Court was told the defendant drove the car in a manner that was "manifestly and obviously dangerous".
Mr Unsworth said: "He drove at vastly excessive speeds, he drove along narrow residential roads with houses lined along each side, he struck a parked motor car, he careered through red lights, drove on the wrong side of the road and along the wrong way of a one-way street."
The court heard Williams drove in a "determined and ruthless attempt to avoid being apprehended".
The jury was told that during the pursuit PC Phillips, a father of two, was at the roadside about to place a device known as a "stop-stick" across the road.
Clayton Williams denies murder. Pic: Liverpool Echo
"PC Phillips was simply trying to help. He was simply trying to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop," Mr Unsworth said.
The court heard how instead of stopping, Williams steered the truck off the carriageway and in the direction of PC Phillips in what the prosecution called "a cowardly and merciless act".
"PC Phillips' fate was sealed," Mr Unsworth said, telling the court that "as events unfolded he stood little or no chance".
"He was struck by the front of the vehicle and was tossed into the air before falling, lifeless onto the road.
"The injuries he sustained as a result were catastrophic.
"Despite the best efforts of a number of people, his plight was a forlorn one. He could not, and would not, survive his injuries."
PC Phillips was pronounced dead a short time later.
Mr Unsworth told the jury: "We suggest that to drive a large 4x4 truck such as this in the way that it was driven at PC Phillips strongly supports the assertion that, at the very least, the defendant had an intention to cause really serious injury, if not the intention to kill."
The jury was told that Williams then drove the truck in the direction of another police officer, PC Thomas Birkett, who managed to leap out of the way.
Williams did not stop to help PC Phillips, the court heard, but instead made phone calls at the wheel of the car which "concerned himself," the prosecution said.
"He simply fled the scene and drove away into the night," said Mr Unsworth.
"We suggest that the defendant used the truck as a weapon and that he used it to murder PC Phillips," the jury was told.
Williams, now 19, has admitted one count of burglary and another court of aggravated vehicle taking, but denies murder.