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Driver who led police on drug-fuelled chase jailed

PUBLISHED: 15:32 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:19 07 October 2019

A man has been jailed for six months for leading police on a chase through March, Emneth and Three Holes  Picture: Archant

A man has been jailed for six months for leading police on a chase through March, Emneth and Three Holes Picture: Archant

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A man who led police on a 40-minute chase was later found to be high on drugs.

Jake Smith of Chapel Gardens, Benwick, near March, was spotted by two officers on patrol at just after 11.30pm on January 17.

Officers saw the 23 year old driving his Ford Transit van in Victoria Road, Wisbech, and believed him to be speeding.

They followed Smith into Sandall Road - a residential area with a 30mph limit - where he reached speeds of more than 50mph.

Police activated their blue lights and sirens but Smith failed to stop. He continued speeding onto the A1101 Elm Road and drove on the wrong side of the road more than once, also going through a no entry sign in Ramnoth Road.

Smith carried on towards the A47 and Emneth, Norfolk, where he continued to speed and use the wrong side of the road.

The chase continued around Emneth and looped around Three Holes twice before Smith headed through Upwell and along the B1098 Sixteen Foot Bank.

Smith ignored the police lights and sirens and headed towards March on the B1099 Upwell Road before entering the residential area of the town.

He crossed the A141 to Wimblington and drove through Doddington before reaching the A141 March bypass where the pursuit was taken over by another team of traffic officers.

The officers observed Smith failing to slow down for a junction, failing to give way and driving on the wrong side of a 'keep left' bollard.

Smith reached Knights End Road where he struck the kerb and mounted a grass verge but then swerved back onto the road.

He continued at speeds of more than 50mph, despite the 30mph limit, and on the wrong side of the road.

The van began to slow due to damage caused to the front wheels and tyres and eventually stopped in Cavalry Road.

Smith was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop and dangerous driving. A roadside breath test was carried out, which was negative, but a roadside drugs swab tested positive for cannabis.

Smith was then further arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs. Blood samples were taken at the station and showed levels of cannabis in his system more than three times the legal drug driving limit.

In police interview, Smith claimed he 'panicked' when he was spotted by officers in Wisbech.

Smith pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of drugs at a previous court hearing.

He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court where he was handed a total of six months in prison.

Smith was also disqualified from driving for two years and three months and ordered to take an extended retest.

PC Chris Jupp, who investigated, said: "Driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs is one of the fatal four causes of collisions on our roads, together with speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

"Smith made matters worse by not stopping for police and putting himself and other road users at risk by driving so dangerously. This case just reinforces the message that we can't be everywhere, but we could be anywhere."

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