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VIDEO: Watch shocking footage as police chase Crawley driver

Sussex Police say the 27-year-old man ‘showed a blatant disregard for the law and for the safety of others’.

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A disqualified driver from Crawley who led police on a pursuit through Brighton before crashing his car, has been jailed.

At around 1.45pm on Friday 29 June, officers became aware of a vehicle of interest nearby Preston Drove – the Mercedes G-Class had been involved in an incident a few days earlier, where it failed to stop for police in Crawley.

More news: Car smashes into Crawley Sainsbury’s seriously injuring 10-year-old girl

The vehicle was pursued and it made several turnings in the area in an attempt to evade police. Police say it then accelerated on Harrington Road, across the double junction with Surrenden Way, at approximately 60mph –  three times the speed limit of 20mph.

The video shows the vehicle continuing onto Bates Road where it clipped a parked Ford Connect van, causing considerable damage, and due to concerns for the safety of the public in an urban area at a busy time of day, the pursuit was aborted.

However the Mercedes crashed into another parked vehicle in nearby Gordon Road a short time later and two men decamped. They were quickly detained and arrested by officers.

The driver was identified as 27-year-old Vikesh Patel, a mechanic, of Town Mead in West Green, Crawley.

27-year-old Vikesh Patel damaged a parked van during the chase through Brighton streets.

Patel was charged with dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to provide a specimen of breath when suspected of having driven a vehicle, possession of cannabis and driving with no insurance.

He pleaded guilty to all offences at Lewes Crown Court on 27 July, and was disqualified from driving for 43 months and jailed for a total of 15 months, broken down as follows:

  • Dangerous driving: nine months consecutive;
  • Driving while disqualified: three months consecutive;
  • Failing to provide a specimen of breath when suspected of having driven a vehicle: three months consecutive;
  • Possession of cannabis: seven days concurrent;
  • Driving with no insurance: seven days concurrent.

His passenger, Karim Bahaji, 26, unemployed, of Partridge Lane, Rusper, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 August and was fined £50, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Inspector Chris Smith, of the Arundel Roads Policing Unit, said:

“Having failed to stop for police in Crawley a few days earlier, a marker was placed on the vehicle Patel was driving and it was only a matter of time before we caught up with him again.

“However, his capture was no easy task – it required the expertise of response and roads policing officers working together to ensure a criminal was caught without compromising the safety of the general public.

“Patel showed a blatant disregard for the law and for the safety of others through his dangerous driving, and it’s extremely fortunate he didn’t injure himself or anyone else that day.”

Patel’s conviction is an example of how we use modern technology to detect and deny criminals the use of our roads.

Modernising our service to ensure officers and staff have the right skills and tools to respond to complex policing challenges is being made possible through the recent council tax increase.

To report a motorist for dangerous or antisocial driving, visit the Operation Crackdown website.

Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crime

Former Surrey man who now resides in Crawley sentenced for online offences

A 28-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

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Adam O’Sullivan, of Hunter Road, Crawley, O’Sullivan believed he was talking to a 14-year-old girl but was actually speaking to an investigating officer posing as a teenage girl on Kik messenger.

In May 2016 while living in Weybridge, O’Sullivan used the messaging app to entice the 14-year-old girl he thought he was speaking to, to send indecent images of herself to him. He also sent indecent images of himself.

During their conversation he knew the user was underage but continued to request for various indecent images, they even discussed meeting up.

He was also in various online groups that were sharing indecent videos and images of children.

O’Sullivan was charged with attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of making indecent images of a child in July 2018. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges at Guildford Crown Court but changed his plea to guilty just before trial in February. He was sentenced today (18 March), to 22 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months.

O’Sullivan was also given a seven-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

DC Rene Murdoch said:

“Thankfully O’Sullivan was talking to the police instead of an innocent child and no one was hurt.

“Due to our undercover work we were able to identify an offender, and he will now be prevented from having contact with young persons and restrictions in place around his use of computers and the internet.

“We work tirelessly in Surrey to keep people safe from sexual offenders who pose a risk to children. Some of this work isn’t always visible but rest assured it goes on.”

Surrey Polices top tips:

We strongly advise to turn privacy settings on your social media accounts on to prevent messages and requests from strangers.

Do not accept requests from someone you don’t know.

Never give your personal details or send images of yourself to someone online.

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