Late dictator General Franco’s grandson has been sentenced to 30 months in jail for driving into a police officer after fleeing authorities at a checkpoint, combined with dangerous driving and speeding.
Francis Franco Martínez-Bordiú has been ordered to pay compensation to a Guardia Civil officer he struck with his car whilst trying to get away, to the tune of €1,500.
He is also required to pay the Guardia Civil force €2,720 for damage to the patrol car he crashed into.
Franco was driving and his employee Silviu Nicolae was in the passenger seat when they were pulled upon the N-234 near the village of Calamocha in the province of Teruel (Aragón) in April 2012 for not having their headlights on, even though it was dark.
Ignoring the police’s instructions to stop, Franco revved up and took off at high speed, ignoring traffic signals and driving recklessly, without due regard to other road users.
The police chase along mountain passes, narrow country lanes and forestry roads went on for some distance until the Guardia Civil blocked the runaway driver on a woodland path between Collados and Lagueruela, still in the province of Teruel.
But the pair were soon off again at full gas after Nicolae pointed a gun at the officers and Franco reversed into their parked car, dragging it for some distance and injuring one of the policemen.
It is believed Franco deliberately targeted the car.
Sometime after the pair drove off, police found the car dumped, without the keys, in the village of Bea.
Franco’s defence claimed the accused was in Madrid on the day in question and that he had only been implicated because the car was part of a contract hire fleet in the name of a company the Franco-Martínez Bordiú family owns.
Nicolae is not responsible for the driving offences, damaging the patrol car or injuring the officer, but could face at least a suspended sentence and a fine for threatening the Guardia Civil with a gun.
It has not been confirmed whether this was loaded.
Franco’s sentence of two-and-a-half years means he will have to go to prison, since only jail terms of two years or less and for a first offence do not have to be served.
The verdict has been given by a lady judge at Teruel criminal court, meaning Franco can – and is likely to – appeal against it.