A speeding Clio driver who allegedly tried to swallow handfuls of cannabis in front of police was said to have rained down blows on two traffic cops and sprayed one with his police-issue pepper spray.

Morgan Culshaw, 26, whose testicles had been grabbed at by one of the officers during the alleged assault, then weaved between lanes on the M40 as he tried to get away from other police units – scrambled after a stricken officers pressed his panic button.

Oxford Crown Court heard that the pursuing officers rammed the Culshaw’s Clio from behind. The hatchback ended up on the hard shoulder facing oncoming traffic. Culshaw allegedly drove the wrong-way down the motorway, crashed into the verge and – after a police helicopter was called-in for help - was found hiding in a thicket.

Opening the case for the prosecution this morning, Archie Mackay told jurors: “This case is about a desperate attempt to get away from the police. It was unsuccessful, but it was very violent and very dangerous.”

Culshaw, of Pennywell Drive, Oxford, denies causing actual bodily harm, dangerous driving, theft of an officer’s pepper spray and making use of a firearm with intent.

The jury was told that traffic PCs Philip Duthie and Martin Woodford were on the M40 north of Wheatley on August 20 last year when they spotted Culshaw’s Clio pulling away ahead of them. They checked the car’s speed twice and on the second attempt recorded it doing 100mph.

The force’s traffic unit was busy dealing with a fatal crash on the day and the officers’ intention was to pull over the Renault and speak to the driver before going on to collect paperwork in Bicester.

Culshaw stopped on the hard shoulder. Mr Duthie got out and went to the drivers’ side window while his colleague cleared space in the back of the car for driver to sit in.

The defendant began eating lumps of cannabis, it was said. Concerned he was destroying evidence and could harm himself, Mr Duthie ordered Culshaw to spit it out.

Oxford Mail:

The alleged assault took place on the M40 between junctions 8 and 9 Picture: GOOGLE

Mr Mackay said: “The police took him to the floor, Mr Culshaw resisting, police saying things like ‘stop resisting, spit it out’. More fully and frankly: ‘Stop f***ing about, just spit it out. It’s not worth it.’”

They struggled with him on the floor. Culshaw got himself into a press-up position, pushed himself up and shrugged the officers off.  Mr Duthie was said to have shoved him into a rainwater gully at the side of the hard shoulder then jumped in after him and put him in a bear hug.

Culshaw managed to get his left arm free and threw a haymaker punch at Mr Woodford before striking Mr Duthie in the head, the jury was told.

Mr Duthie, who was on the floor, grabbed the defendant’s testicles, although he managed to break free. The officer pressed the emergency button on his police radio to call for extra officers.

The defendant, who was pushed into a bush by Mr Duthie, bit down on the officer’s wrist. The constable was left on his hands and knees screaming in pain as Culshaw ‘rained down further punches on his head and back’, Mr Mackay told the jury.

One of the officers tried to use his police-issue pepper spray on the driver but was unsuccessful. Mr Woodford traded blows with Culshaw and was said to have been stamped on by the defendant, who had lost his shoe.

Culshaw then went off to ‘explore the police car’, the prosecutor said. He clambered into the marked BMW 5 series ‘to see what was available to him to ensure that the police were not able to stop him’.

He picked up Mr Woodford’s pepper spray, which had fallen from his stab vest. Mr Mackay said: “He now started to instruct the officers not to try and apprehend him and sprayed PC Woodford with his own incapacitant spray; not to his face, to his body.”

The defendant got back into his Clio, two female passengers got out and Culshaw headed off down the motorway. He was spotted weaving between the lanes and, eventually, police decided to smash a patrol car into the Renault. He ended up in the hard shoulder, facing the wrong way up the M40.

He drove down the hard shoulder but soon crashed into the verge. Mr Mackay said: “By the time the police caught up with that crashed vehicle he had decamped and was now on the run. A police helicopter located him in a field, hidden in some type of thicket. He had discarded a bag with £270 in it and the Crown say all of this was so the police couldn’t find on him the cannabis and the £270.”

Culshaw, of Pennywell Drive, Oxford, denies ABH, theft, making use of a firearm with intent and dangerous driving. The trial continues.