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Jail for driver who fled police because he had been smoking cannabis

PUBLISHED: 14:37 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:37 09 February 2018

Ipswich Crown Court (stock image) Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court (stock image) Picture: GREGG BROWN

A motorist who forced a policeman to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by his car at the start of a three-mile police chase has been jailed 13 months.

Police officers on mobile patrol in Belstead near Ipswich approached a Ford Fiesta which was parked in a muddy field along a dirt track in the early hours of February 17 last year and parked in front of it, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

They spoke to the driver and while they were carrying out checks on the vehicle, Thomas Wood, whose girlfriend was a passenger in the car, started the engine, said Daniel Taylor, prosecuting.

He edged the Fiesta forward before reversing causing one of the officers to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Another officer ran round towards the front of the Fiesta and told Wood to stop but he drove towards the officer causing him to run towards the police car for protection, said Mr Taylor.

Wood had then manoeuvred round the police car and on to a grass embankment before leaving the field and driving along the A137 towards Manningtree.

He was pursued for three miles by the police officers, ignoring the flashing lights and siren on their vehicle, before coming to a stop at the side of the road.

He was uncooperative and had to be pulled out of the car and Parva spray was used by the officers to enable them to arrest him.

Wood failed to provide a roadside breath or drug test and at Martlesham police investigation centre he again failed to provide a breath or blood sample for analysis.

Wood told police he and his girlfriend had been smoking cannabis in his car in the field and he had driven off because he didn’t have a driving licence or insurance.

Wood, 31, of Victoria Street, Harwich, admitted dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, two offences of resisting arrest, possession of cannabis and driving without insurance and without a driving licence.

In addition to being jailed for 13 months he was banned from driving for forty-two and a half months.

Paul Donegan, for Wood, said his client hadn’t broken the speed limit during the police chase.

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