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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

Crawley man jailed for over 4 years after racist and homophobic abuse at Brighton Pride revellers

A man who hurled racist and homophobic abuse at revellers heading to Brighton Pride has been jailed for more than four years.

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Ryan Brown was heading to Pride himself when he threatened to ‘knock a woman out’ and shouted racist and homophobic terms at train passengers.

The incident happened shortly after 5pm on Saturday 5 August 2017.

The 31-year-old from Hastings Road in Crawley, West Sussex, resisted arrest at Brighton and had to be restrained by BTP officers.

In his pocket he had a large number of small bags containing MDMA.

He was found guilty of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and causing fear of violence through racially charged and homophobic language.

Brown was also sentenced at the same time for a separate matter which included affray, criminal damage, and assault with intent to resist arrest which he pleaded guilty to in December 2018.

He was jailed for four years and six months at Hove Crown Court on Thursday 10 January.

British Transport Police DC Imogen Sweeney said:

“I would like to thank the victim in this case. She was subjected to a frightening ordeal by Brown, receiving homophobic abuse and witnessing racist abuse. 

“She has remained determined to pursue justice throughout this investigation and I have nothing but admiration and praise for her strength.

“Brighton Pride celebrates diversity and equality, values that Brown clearly needs education in. I believe this sentence reflects the seriousness and particularly nasty nature of his offending on that day.”

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