July 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Police who arrested a man after a high speed car chase through the streets of Ipswich were amazed when he told them his 80-year-old grandmother was in the back of the car, a court has heard.
During the pursuit, which started when banned driver Steven Gooch panicked when he saw a police car behind him, the front wheels of his car left the ground as he went over a bump in a car park and he drove at more than twice the 30mph speed limit, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
At one stage he drove straight across Norwich Road without stopping to see if there were any oncoming cars and narrowly missed a child getting out of a car.
When 24-year-old Gooch, who was driving a Ford Fiesta, eventually pulled over by the side of the road and got out of the car he walked over to police with his hands out in front of him saying: “Go on arrest me. I’ve been an idiot,” said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.
“The officer was amazed when the defendant told him that his grandmother was in the back of the Fiesta and would need a lift home,” said Mr Crimp.
“The officer saw there was an elderly lady sitting in the back of the car and she appeared shaken,” he added.
Gooch, of Chatsworth Crescent, Ipswich, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with his driving licence during the incident in August last year.
Sentencing him to a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 24 months, Recorder Heather Rogers described his driving as “shockingly bad”.
“Your 80-year-old grandmother was in the car and seemed shaken,” she said.
In addition to the suspended sentence Gooch was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work in the community. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to take an extended driving test.
He was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.
Craig Marchant, for Gooch, said his client had been depressed at the time of the offences following the breakdown of his marriage.
He said Gooch lived with his grandmother who was going blind and suffered from arthritis.
He said that Gooch had only driven at more than 40mph for a minute of the four minute chase and no-one had been injured.