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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Driver led Cumbria police on 110mph chase because he felt in 'mortal fear'

A driver who led police on a 110mph midnight chase in Cumbria later told them he felt “in mortal fear” because he thought they were thugs intent on doing him some harm.

David Peter Brown, 52, drove “at breakneck speed” along the A66, almost from Workington to Penrith, before he crashed out of control after having the tyres on his BMW punctured by a police “stinger” device stretched across the road.

During the hair-raising pursuit, prosecutor Dick Binstead said, Brown sometimes had his lights off, and at others was weaving across the road to prevent the police car behind from overtaking him.

Mr Binstead told the jury Brown was desperate to evade the police because he knew he should not have been driving at all, since he had not yet passed the mandatory driving test required of him following a 30-month ban imposed in his native Essex in 2009.

The court heard Brown was first noticed when, seeing a police car ahead of him, he suddenly did a U-turn while driving through Cockermouth.

The police then followed him back towards Workington and the police caught up with him when, without warning, he pulled into a lay-by and turned his lights out, apparently “in a deliberate manoeuvre designed to shake off the following police vehicle,” Mr Binstead said.

Later a more powerful police car then joined the chase along the A66, but it had to do 110mph to keep up. Police in a third car managed to spread out the ‘stinger’ near Troutbeck, just a few miles short of Penrith.

But even after having all four tyres deflated, Brown continued on at high speed until he lost control and careered across the central reservation while trying to avoid a fourth police car parked on the road ahead of him.

Brown, of Wick Lane, Wickford, Essex, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and illegally possessing a kitchen knife which police found in the footwell of his crashed car.

His barrister Jonathan Dickinson told the court Brown denied that his driving had been dangerous.

The trial continues.

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