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Banned Norwich driver reversed his car at police officer, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:57 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 04 August 2018

Ben Chapman. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Ben Chapman. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A banned Norwich motorist described as a “menace” put a police officer in fear after he started reversing his car towards him, a court heard.

The officer was walking over to talk to driver Ben Chapman, 37, when he saw him reversing towards him and had to jump out of the way but injured his hand, Norwich Crown Court heard

Hugh Vass prosecuting, said the driver of the police car also had to take evasive action as he thought his car might be rammed after Chapman was stopped, near Middleton, in Norfolk, on July 11, last year.

Mr Vass said the officers lost sight of Chapman, who sped away from the scene and later said they both felt shaken by the incident.

Chapman was arrested the next day but was then seen driving around Dereham, on August 14, and refused to stop for police going through two red lights before abandoning the car in a cul-de-sac and fleeing from the vehicle.

Chapman of Junction Road, Norwich, admitted two counts of dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

The court heard he had a bad record with 18 offences of driving without insurance, 16 offences of driving while banned, four drink driving convictions, two offences of failing to stop and now five convictions for dangerous driving.

Jailing him for two years and imposing a six year driving ban, Judge Andrew Shaw called him a “menace” who ignored all court orders and put other road users as well as himself at risk.

He said although a detailed probation report showed Chapman was now starting to realise he had to stop his offending, he had no alternative but to jail him.

He warned him that he should forget his obsession about driving cars or face longer sentences in future.

Lori Tucker, for Chapman, said he was turning his life around and had started his own business.

“There are occasions when this court sees prolific offenders turn their lives around.”

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