Ipswich woman drove at 78mph during police chase around town

Ipswich Hosptial is one of three hospitals where ESNEFT have changed maternity ward rules Picture: S

Ipswich Hosptial is one of three hospitals where ESNEFT have changed maternity ward rules Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich woman who drove at speeds of up to 78mph through Kesgrave while being chased by police has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Natasha Hammond had gone to Martlesham police headquarters in the early hours of the morning and was playing her stereo at high volume, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She raised some concerns with the police about a family problem but was advised to go home.

After she left officers noticed she had left a pile of clothes by the main doors and drove after Hammond and tried to stop her, said David Wilson, prosecuting.

Hammond slowed down and the police car overtook her but Hammond had then driven round the police car and along Main Road, Kesgrave, at speeds of up to 78mph.

She had also driven the wrong way round a roundabout but fortunately because of the early hour there was no oncoming traffic in the area, said Mr Wilson.

Hammond had driven into Ipswich and after turning into Heath Road she had stopped outside the Accident and Emergency Department of Ipswich Hospital, where she was arrested.

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Hammond, 38, of Stoke Park Drive, admitted dangerous driving on October 22 last year and was given a 19-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

She was also banned from driving for 12 months.

Sentencing Hammond, Judge David Pugh said she had been suffering from mental health issues and was experiencing some sort of breakdown on the night in question.

Lynne Shirley, for Hammond, said her client’s father had died in a police chase and she had been driving to Ipswich hospital when she was pursued by the police because she was suffering from extreme anxiety and chest pains.

She said Hammond had been driving “perfectly normally” when she left the Martlesham police investigation centre.

Miss Shirley said on body worn video footage recorded during the incident a police officer could be heard saying unpleasant things about the defendant, which was unprofessional.

She said Hammond had been making positive efforts to change her life and had not put a foot wrong since being released from an earlier prison sentence.

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