Injured crash driver charged

A MAN seriously injured when his car crashed following a police pursuit has been charged with 13 driving offences, The Evening Star can reveal today.

A MAN seriously injured when his car crashed following a police pursuit has been charged with 13 driving offences, The Evening Star can reveal today.

James Ratcliffe, 22, was fleeing police in a Vauxhall Calibra when his car struck another vehicle at the junction of Ipswich Road and the Nacton village turn-off, at Nacton, on January 13.

Ratcliffes' car and a Seat Alhambra, driven by a man in his 50s, both burst into flames.

The men, and a female passenger in the Vauxhall, were pulled from the vehicles by the police officer involved in the pursuit and two members of the public.


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The driver of the Seat was released from hospital the same day but Ratcliffe and his passenger needed more extensive treatment.

Ratcliffe, of The Crescent in Great Hawksley, is still believed to be undergoing out-patient treatment at hospital and was only charged in connection with the incident last week because he had previously been too ill.

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He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, failing to stop a vehicle when require to do so by an officer and dangerous driving.

The offences all relate to the incident on January 13.

In addition Ratcliffe pleaded guilty to further offences of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, driving with no test certificate, two tyre tread offences and wilfully obstructing an officer.

These offences took place on December 14, 2005.

The 22-year-old also admitted driving with no insurance on August 8 last year and failing to answer bail at Woodbridge Police Station on December 6 last year.

He pleaded not guilty to three offences of driving without insurance, driving without a test certificate and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. Those offences are alleged to have taken place on August 6 last year.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is today continuing to investigate the crash.

A meeting looking at the progress of the case is due to take place this week.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said it was likely that their inquiries would be suspended pending the outcome of Ratcliffes' court proceedings. The matter would then be resolved once the 22-year-old had been sentenced.

The case will be dealt with at Ipswich Crown Court but a case is yet to be fixed.

Weblink:

www.suffolk.police.uk

Has your life been affected by a dangerous driver? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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