Man who drove stolen Range Rover at speed in Ipswich is jailed

Police attend the scene of a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle and a car at the junction of Clapgate Lane and...

Ipswich man crashed stolen Range Rover Evoque into railings after the tyre burst - Credit: Archant

A drunk Ipswich man who drove a stolen Range Rover at speeds of more than 70 mph during a police chase in the town has been jailed for 12 months.

Leroy Clarke, who has more than 100 previous convictions, was arrested after a tyre on the Range Rover burst and the vehicle hit railings, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Clarke, 32, of no fixed address in Ipswich, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, drink driving, driving with a licence and driving without insurance. 

In addition to being jailed for 12 months he was banned from driving for 30 months.

Sentencing him Judge David Pugh said: “The risk to other road users was very high and it was fortunate, no thanks to you, that no-one was injured.”

Juliet Donovan, prosecuting, said the Range Rover Evoque had been reported stolen by its owner in March last year.

On April 24 police officers saw the vehicle being driven without lights in Nacton Road and began following it with the blue lights on their car illuminated.

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They had followed the Range Rover on roads including Clapgate Lane, Rands Way, Beatty Road, Packard Avenue, Queens Way, Kings Way, Shackleton Road and Heather Avenue.

During the pursuit the vehicle had been driven without lights at speeds of 70-80 mph along residential streets and had gone over red traffic lights,  the court heard.

The Range Rover had eventually come to a halt when it hit railings after a tyre burst as it went over a speed bump.

Clarke tried to get out of the vehicle while it was still moving and when he was arrested he was found to be twice the legal drink drive limit, said Miss Donovan.

She said that after his arrest Clarke was taken to hospital for a leg injury caused as he got out of the Range Rover.

Peter Spary for Clarke said his client hadn’t been responsible for stealing the Range Rover.