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Man rammed police blockade and sped through Norwich - before trying to hide in Sainsbury's

Joseph Sharpe was jailed for 15 months for dangerous driving. Picture: Norfolk Police

Joseph Sharpe was jailed for 15 months for dangerous driving. Picture: Norfolk Police

Archant

A prolific dangerous driver rammed a police car to escape having taken his girlfriend's car, before speeding through the centre of Norwich.

The junction of Brazengate and Queens Road in Norwich    Photo: Google Street ViewThe junction of Brazengate and Queens Road in Norwich Photo: Google Street View

Joseph Sharpe had returned to Norwich to “reconcile” with his former partner and by October 3 last year she had reported her car stolen, Norwich Crown Court heard on Thursday.

Spotting the vehicle in a Lakenham cul-de-sac around 9.15pm, police officers set up a blockade at the mouth of the road to prevent Sharpe escaping.

But the 34-year-old drove “deliberately” at the police car, damaging the light cluster and bumper, before driving off at speed.

Mark Roochove, prosecuting, told the court: “Officers activated their lights and sirens and followed the defendant, who was driving in excess of the speed limit of 30mph.

“The car being driven by the defendant crossed into the opposite lane in front of oncoming vehicles and went through a red light on Queens Road at the junction with Brazengate.

“He turned onto Victoria Street where the defendant decamped from the vehicle and ran into Sainsbury’s. He was followed by the police officers and was apprehended and detained.”

The court heard Sharpe has appeared in court 18 times for driving matters including driving without insurance or a licence.

It is his third conviction for dangerous driving.

Gavin Cowe, for Sharpe, told the court it had been a “poor passage of driving, albeit a brief one”.

“The police vehicle was parked close to him so was not hit at a great speed or impact,” he said. “There was no injury caused.

“He saw the officers and panicked and sought to get away from them.

“He describes his life at the time as being in a degree of upheaval. He had moved from Norwich to Yorkshire in the summer following the break down of the relationship. She had effected a reconciliation and it had not gone smoothly.

“He took her vehicle and made the poor decision to drive.”

Judge Maureen Bacon told Sharpe: “You deliberately drove you vehicle at that police vehicle, shunting it backwards so you could make your escape.

“You plainly have no regard whatsoever for the law in relation to those who take to the road to drive vehicles.”

Sharpe, of Norwich Prison, was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for two years and seven months.

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