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Gloucestershire Business News

Sentence for man who led police on a 50-mile pursuit around Stroud

A 38-year-old Bristol man who led police on a 50 mile pursuit that reached 130mph on a motorway and main roads around Stroud, Glos, is facing a jail term, a judge has warned.

Dayton Powell of Waterloo Road, Bristol - formerly of Yeomanry close, Sutton Coldfield - pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court last Friday (Oct 2) to dangerous driving in a BMW320 on the M5, the A38 and A419 and possessing a quantity of cannabis.

He also admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis and not having a driving licence or insurance.

Alex Daymond, prosecuting, said that on December 17th last year West Mercia police were alerted to a black BMW travelling south at speed on the M5 in Worcestershire.

Patrol officers followed it for some time before activating the blue lights and indicating to the driver to stop.

Mr Daymond said: "The driver then accelerated away from the police at high speed. But with the help of Gloucestershire Police the vehicle was brought to a stop and boxed in at a roundabout at 11.45pm.

"However, within a few moments the driver reversed and accelerated away, nearly knocking over two officers who had got out of their vehicles.

"The three police vehicles gave chase at high speed and the driver of the BMW then undertook manoeuvres that caused a two car collision which ended the pursuit.

"However, one of the three police vehicles continued to follow the BMW, which often saw speeds in excess of 130 mph, but because of the speed the police eventually lost sight of the vehicle.

"The vehicle was then spotted by a stationary police vehicle on the A38 in the Stroud area and it gave chase when the driver failed to stop when requested to do so.

"The driver then drove through a series of roundabouts the second of which is where a stinger is deployed, which is successful in deflating the vehicle's tyres. The driver continues to steer to the next roundabout while losing control of the vehicle.

"The driver then negotiated a third roundabout by entering it in the wrong way and was finally stopped."

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said it was one of the worst cases of dangerous driving that he had ever heard.

The court heard the high speed chase was conducted over a distance of some 50 miles. When Powell was arrested his vehicle was searched and police discovered a small amount of cannabis in the car.

The court was told that Powell refused to take a roadside breath test or at the custody suite.

In interview Powell explained to police that he had bought the car from a dealership in Cardiff two weeks earlier.

Earl Pinnock, defending, said: "Powell was driving within the speed limit until the point he escaped from the police vehicles trying to block him in. He did not believe the car behind was a police car.

"This was a degree of stupidity on his part. He believed that the 16-year-old youth he had in the vehicle at the time was somebody who was being pursued by others."

Judge Lawrie pointed out to Powell that it was he who was being thoroughly irresponsible in driving at speeds of more than 130mph with a youth as a passenger.

The court was then told that Powell was a single father and was the sole carer for his son.

Judge Lawrie interjected: "Being a father didn't stop him from committing this offence. I want legal confirmation that Powell is the legal guardian of a child."

The judge told Powell "Your liberty hangs by a slender thread."

Powell was given an interim driving disqualification and released on conditional bail until he is sentenced at the same court on November 19.

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