Reagan Ainslie Chown pleads guilty to some charges but not guilty to murdering Constable Anthony Woods

The man accused of fatally running over a young police officer has admitted stealing and driving the car but denies murdering the constable, a court has heard.

Reagan Ainslie Chown, 23, faced Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court in Perth on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to driving recklessly to escape police during a pursuit in a stolen Holden Cruze.

But he pleaded not guilty to murdering Constable Anthony Woods, 28, who was allegedly struck with the car in Ascot on June 8 last year.

The officer and his colleague had pulled over the vehicle and they were trying to detain three occupants when Constable Woods was allegedly dragged underneath as the car reversed.

Constable Woods was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and died on June 11.

He became the 88th WA Police officer to lose his life in the line of duty.

Constable Woods had only been on the force for about three years and had just passed his probation when he died.

He was farewelled at Optus Stadium on July 7.

In a statement after his death, Constable Woods’ family said they were shattered.

“He was a devoted husband and loving son, brother, and uncle who was taken from this earth far too soon,” they said.

“Anthony will be remembered as a funny, hardworking man who loved the West Coast Eagles and mucking around with his mates.

“He brought light and laughter to every situation, and his wicked sense of humour is irreplaceable.

“Our pain at this time is indescribable, and we take comfort in the outpouring of love from the community.

“We ask that you keep Anthony’s memory alive by telling stories of all of your good times with him.”

Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the young officer had been trying to keep the community safe.

“It was the sort of interaction that any of our officers may encounter any given day or night of the year, reminding us of the ever-present dangers facing police officers,” he said.

Constable Woods’ name has been added to memorial wall at the WA Police Academy in Joondalup, facing the flame of remembrance.

Chown will next face the WA Supreme Court on June 10.

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