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Fifteen mile Norfolk pursuit ends after van rammed by police car

PUBLISHED: 17:23 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 17 October 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A 15-mile police pursuit across Norfolk was only brought to an end after officers rammed the van, a court has heard.

Kevin Finley, 41, had been driving a white Ford Transit van on the A47 towards Swaffham when he was spotted driving "erratically" by police.

Norwich Crown Court heard officers in a police prisoner van put on their blue lights in a bid to stop him but he "made off".

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the police van pursed Finley and was later joined by other police officers and vehicles.

He said the chase, which lasted about 15 miles, started in Swaffham and ended in the Gayton area, taking in the A47, Norwich Road, Lynn Road, West Acre Road, the B1153 and B1145.

Mr Youell said Finley's car was seen on the wrong side of the road during the pursuit.

At one point Finley damaged a police car and took the wing mirror off after he barged past the emergency vehicle which had got in front of him.

But the chase was eventually brought to an end when the already damaged police car rammed Finley's van.

Mr Youell said two police vehicles were damaged during the stop which happened in the early hours of December 13 last year.

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Finley was later found to be over the drug drive limit with cocaine in his system.

Finley, from Leeds, appeared in court for sentence on Thursday (October 17) having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

The probation service had prepared a report on Finley who told them how he had become addicted to drugs having been given opiate-based medication following medical treatment.

His business had failed and his relationship had just about broken down when he decided to drive to Norfolk with a friend creating, in his words, a "perfect storm" when this offence took place.

John Farmer, mitigating for Finley, who has previous driving offences recorded against him, said it the offence "arose at a difficult period in his life".

He urged the court to keep any driving ban to a minimum.

Judge Stephen Holt said it had been a "freak occurrence" in his life.

He jailed him for eight months but suspended the sentence for 12 months.

Finley was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

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