WATCH: Dramatic footage of police forcing disqualified driver to stop on A12
A serial disqualified driver who tried to smash through a police blockade on the A12 has been jailed for a string of offences.
Akeem Long was jailed for two years at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and uninsured, failing to take a drug-driving test and a class A drug test, and failing to comply with a court order.
Long, 28, of Samuel Court, Ipswich, had taken his partner’s Renault Clio without consent and was carrying two passengers when police intervened in the early hours on March 10.
Three cars surrounded the Clio as it travelled northbound past Stratford St Mary at 50-55mph, when Long suddenly veered right in an attempt to break free from the box formation and collided with of one of the vehicles.
His car then collided with the central barrier and veered back into the nearside lane, where police again tried the manoeuvre.
Long then mounted the verge and drove along a footpath before returning to the carriageway and crashing into the central barrier.
He failed to provide a saliva sample for drug testing and later refused to take class A drug test.
He was taken to hospital, where his phone rang repeatedly, but he failed to comply with a serious crime prevention order, imposed at the time of a previous sentence, by refusing to disclose the PIN.
Prosecutor Lynne Shirley said Long was out of prison on licence at the time and had been recalled the next day to serve out five years for intent to supply drugs.
In 2016, he was jailed for driving while disqualified for the third time, as well as careless driving and failing to stop for police.
Ian Persaud, mitigating, said Long had turned a corner before the latest incident by becoming a father, finding work and applying for a provisional driving licence.
He argued that authority had not been given by a senior officer for the box manoeuvre and that Long had been alarmed by the response, adding: “Is it not conceivable for a Renault Clio to be adequately pursued without having to use the box formation?”
Miss Shirley said authority had been clearly given – in order to stop a man with a “history of making off from police”.
Judge David Pugh told Long: “The reason for what followed was simply your failure to stop. Instead, you put lives in danger.”
Long was jailed for a total of 24 months and banned from driving for an extended three-year period.
Two other men from Ipswich, aged 22 and 23, who were passengers in the car and also arrested at the scene, remain under investigation as part of an ongoing police inquiry.
Acting Detective Sergeant Nick Shirley, of the Serious Crime Disruption Team, said: “Akeem Long’s driving was not only reckless and dangerous, but unnecessarily put the lives of the pursuing police officers at risk, not to mention those of himself and his passengers.
“However, thanks to the skill and ability of our colleagues in the Roads and Armed Policing Team, the vehicle was brought to a stop safely without anybody being harmed.
“I hope this sends out a strong message to others who would make criminal use of our roads that it will not be tolerated, and emphasises that by acting as ‘one team Suffolk’ across the entire constabulary, we are working 24/7 to bring offenders to justice.”
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