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Domestic abuser arrested while standing in pond after chaotic car chase

PUBLISHED: 22:54 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 22:54 08 March 2019

Kieran Watkins was jailed for 16 months for dangerous driving. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Kieran Watkins was jailed for 16 months for dangerous driving. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A man who threatened to take his partner’s jaw off was caught by police after his van flipped over in a farmer’s field following a dramatic high-speed chase.

Kieran Watkins, 30, had been on the run from police after threats he made to his former partner who had suffered domestic abuse at his hands.

Watkins, who was wanted by police, was spotted in his white van by officers in Suffolk, prompting a chase reaching speeds of up to 80mph over almost three miles.

Norwich Crown Court heard Watkins went through a red light, the wrong way around roundabouts and drove along footpaths during the pursuit - which was described by an officer as the most dangerous he had been involved with in 12 years in the job.

Jude Durr, prosecuting, said the chase, which included along Millennium Way in Lowestoft, took place on roads “heavy with traffic” with the distance travelled somewhere in the region of three miles.

The chase ended when Watkins flipped his van after driving across a field off Blundeston Road, Lowestoft. Mr Durr said Watkins ran into a wooded area and then into a pond but “stood still” and told officers “I’ve had enough”.

After being arrested Watkins, who caused more than £650 of damage to the crops, told police he had a sledgehammer in the van.

Watkins, of HMP Norwich, admitted dangerous driving and destroying property on May 29 last year and appeared for sentence on Tuesday (March 5).

Sentencing Watkins to a total of 16 months in prison, Judge Maureen Bacon said it was “truly appalling driving”.

She said: “Quite how you didn’t collide with another vehicle or mow down a pedestrian is hard to reconcile.”

He was sentenced to 16 months in prison which is to run consecutively to the 18-month sentence he received in December after admitting coercive and controlling behaviour.

But Judge Bacon warned Watkins, who now has five convictions for dangerous driving, that if he were to kill someone or damage someone through dangerous driving that “this court is waiting for you” and would impose longer sentences.

John Morgans, mitigating, said his client had “panicked”.

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