Driving menace jailed after police chase

A YOUNG dangerous driver has been jailed for three years after an Ipswich judge said it was a miracle he did not kill someone.

A YOUNG dangerous driver has been jailed for three years after an Ipswich judge said it was a miracle he did not kill someone.

Darrell Lambert was jailed after being found guilty of dangerous driving for the FIFTH time and of driving while disqualified for the ELEVENTH time.

Judge John Holt said the 21-year-old's most recent offences were aggravated because:

the car was stolen

he was twice the drink-drive limit

he had never taken a driving test

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had no insurance

drove in excess of 70 miles per hour in narrow residential streets.

Judge Holt added: “You drove through red traffic lights, you drove on to roads without stopping for traffic, you went round a roundabout the wrong way, you failed to stop for three police cars and forced two of them out of your way and it only ended when you crashed into a hedge.

“It was a miracle no-one was injured or killed.”

Ipswich Crown Court heard that police were alerted to a car that had been stolen in Saxmundham and was headed for Ipswich at 11pm on November 14 last year.

Police pursued the Ford Fiesta driven by Lambert and containing two passengers from Britannia Road to Raeburn Road via Foxhall Road, Felixstowe Road and Nacton Road.

Lambert lost the police cars momentarily as the father-of-two squeezed the Fiesta between bollards at the end of Raeburn Road where there was a pedestrian alleyway. The police Volvo cars were too wide to get through.

The Fiesta was found crashed and abandoned in bushes in Sandy Hill Lane and Lambert was found in a garden in Hawke Road where he lived.

Lambert denied he was the driver but a jury found him guilty of dangerous driving, disqualified driving and breaching an anti-social behaviour order which prevented him being a driver or passenger in a car.

He was found not guilty of assaulting police officer Michelle Webber at the police station after his arrest.

Hugh Vass, mitigating, said Judge Holt had sentenced Lambert to two years in a Young Offender's Institute in 2005 and he had only been released on licence from custody for assault two days before the driving offences.

Mr Vass said: “He said he had been driving since he was 14 and he hasn't had a supportive family like Lewis Hamilton who got a go-kart, so he drove illegally.”

Judge John Holt jailed Lambert for three years and disqualified him from driving for three years. Lambert was told he would have to pass an extended driving test before ever driving legally.

Following the verdict, Inspector Trevor Sharman of Suffolk Police Road Policing Unit said he welcomed the sentence.

He said: “It reflects the seriousness of the crime and the court recognised that.

“Failing to stop for the police and driving in a manner displayed by Darrell Lambert puts themselves and every other road user at risk.

“He displayed overall a manner of driving which was dangerous and he did this regardless of the safety of anyone else.”