Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Cavendish: Mercedes driver who drove ‘extremely dangerously’ while being chased by police is jailed

15:45 11 June 2014

Richard Smith, who has been jailed for 15 months

Richard Smith, who has been jailed for 15 months


A banned driver who overtook cars on a blind bend and drove like “a bat out of hell” through a Suffolk village during a police chase has been jailed for 15 months for dangerous driving.


Richard Smith had denied being behind the wheel of his Mercedes on November 2 last year and claimed that someone who knew he left his car keys in the glove compartment must have been driving the vehicle – but his version of events was rejected by a jury.

Sentencing the 47-year-old, Judge David Goodin said he had no doubt Smith was behind the wheel of the car during the police chase and described his driving as “extremely dangerous”.

He said Smith had driven “like a bat out of hell” through the village of Cavendish and said police officers who were pursuing Smith’s car had been told by their control room to stop the chase because it was too dangerous to continue.

Judge Goodin said the dangerous driving was aggravated by the fact that Smith was a banned driver following a drink-driving conviction in 2012 and he had also lied about that conviction to get insurance.

He said he had heard “poignant” mitigation on Smith’s behalf regarding the death of his wife from cancer five years ago and that his two daughters would suffer if he was sent to prison.

However, he said he was unable to suspend the sentence and Smith would have to go straight to prison.

Smith, of Stour Close, Glemsford, had denied dangerous driving on the A1092 and driving while disqualified on November 2 last year but was convicted after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court. He had earlier admitted fraudulently obtaining an insurance certificate.

In addition to jailing him Judge Goodin banned Smith from driving for three years.

During his trial the court heard that a police officer who arrested him for drink-driving in 2012 saw him standing by the driver’s door of his Mercedes near the Cherry Tree pub in Glemsford at around 3pm on November 2 last year.

The officer, who was driving a marked police car, parked down the road and saw Smith drive past shortly afterwards.

He activated his vehicle’s siren and flashing lights but the Mercedes had accelerated away.

During the chase that followed the Mercedes overtook a line of six or seven cars including two on a blind bend. The car was also driven at up to 70mph in a 30mph speed limit in Cavendish.

Giving evidence Smith said he bought the Mercedes and took out insurance in preparation for going back to work and getting his licence back but had not driven the vehicle.

He had left the keys to the vehicle in the glove compartment and had invited people he knew to use it whenever they wanted.

Joanne Eley, for Smith, said her client and his daughters had been left devastated by his wife’s death and he had become depressed and started drinking.

She urged the court not to send Smith straight to prison because of the effect it would have on his daughters.

“To lose their father for any period of time from their daily lives will devastate them,” she said.


1 comment

  • “To lose their father for any period of time from their daily lives will devastate them,” Well perhaps he shouldn't have done it then? Doesn't he care about them? Is this not completely the result of his own actions? I have absolutely no sympathy for this fool at all.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, June 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Concerns for police staff over jobs

Hundreds of Suffolk Constabulary civilian staff face an anxious wait this week to discover the impact of a multi-million pound cost-cutting programme.

Tim Holder, director of the Suffolk Community Foundation, with Surviving Winter supporter, former journalist and TV presenter Christine Webber

A campaign to combat fuel poverty in Suffolk has helped more than 100 people to stay warm this winter in the first three weeks since its launch.

Braintree woman Josie Lucas, who has flown to Mexico to find missing boyfriend Dean Lucas

An Essex woman has flown out to Mexico amid growing concerns for her partner who went missing on a trip in Mexico last week.

Drink-driver in court

A company director has lost his licence after admitting drink-driving while travelling at 94mph on the A14.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 21-year-old Ipswich man who attacked two guests at a party with a machete has been jailed for nine years.

Rail passengers are facing a day of disruption due to overrunning engineering work in Cambridgeshire.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A 20-year-old woman was given a six week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for stealing £10 from a resident of a care home where she worked.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24