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Driver jailed after high speed chase
A SOUTHAMPTON man has been jailed after leading police on a terrifying high speed chase along a Hampshire motorway.
The five mile pursuit, in which the increasingly desperate David John hurtled down the hard shoulder at 80mph, only ended when he crashed into another vehicle.
He then ran off, leaving the victim, who was thrown out of his vehicle, lying injured in the road.
Now John, 24, of Shaftesbury Avenue, Southampton, has been jailed for two years.
The vehicle had been stolen in a burglary in Totton a few weeks earlier and was using false number plates.
Prosecutor Nicholas Rowland described how the officer turned on his flashing blue lights and drew alongside, mouthing for David John to stop.
Instead he increased his speed, crossing from the outside lane on to the hard shoulder where he accelerated to 80mph on the motorway.
‘Lives at risk’ John then started a terrifying ordeal where: l He drove up the slip road at Hedge End with PC Clifford activating his siren to alert other drivers.
• He then ignored red traffic lights and drove down the dual carriageway to a roundabout.
• He bumped his way through two lanes of traffic and circled the roundabout to drive back onto the M27.
• He then left the motorway again and at the Windover round-about went on to the grass verge where the officer got out of his car, ran up to the slow moving van and tried to grab the keys but John drove off, doing 55mph in Bursledon Road which had a 40mph limit.
• The pursuit ended at the junction with Coates Road when he crashed into a Citroen where it appeared to leave the ground because of its speed, spun round and the other driver, a factory worker, was thrown out.
He lost consciousness and then suffered a violent fit. He had to be taken to hospital for treatment for grazes and bruising.
• John however did not give himself up. He discarded his upper clothing and in a bid to disguise himself ran off to a nearby supermarket where he bought himself a T-shirt.
He was later arrested and while on bail was caught with a small amount of cannabis.
The drama led PC Clifford to comment: “In my 14 years of driving high performance cars, I have been involved in a number of pursuits and this was one of the most challenging.”
John, 24, admitted dangerous driving, theft, handling, fraud, having no licence or insurance and possessing cannabis.
He also admitted being in breach of a 12-month conditional discharge imposed for battery.
Jailing him for two years, Recorder Stephen Climie told John he had put the lives of others at risk.
In mitigation, Michael McGold-rick said John recognised he would receive a jail sentence but he had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and in his police interview he had demonstrated remorse and concern for the other driver.
“He was using the van in his job of buying and selling motor cycles. It was dreadful driving and he knows he should not have been driving.”
John was also disqualified for two years and then must take an extended re-test.
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