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.
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.
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.
Appeal for help after five masked robbers force way into home in Crawley
Detectives in Crawley are seeking information about a violent attack at a home in Pound Hill.
At 3,30pm on Thursday 22 November the occupants of the house in Punch Copse Road, answered the door, and were confronted with five men with their faces covered who threatened the occupants and forced their way into the house.
They stole a quantity of cash and a box containing some cutlery before leaving the address and making off in a car which was parked nearby.
All the suspects are described as black, and were wearing dark coloured clothing.
One of the occupants, a 37-year old woman, was knocked to the floor during the attack and sustained bruising and a shoulder injury for which she was treated at East Surrey Hospital.
Detective Constable Mark Buckley said;
“We have been making extensive local enquiries and are still seeking witnesses who were in the area that afternoon, particularly around Punch Copse Road or surrounding roads, and including anyone who was using dashcam in their own car at the time.”
If you have any information please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting serial 904 of 22/11.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.