A14: Thief dumped rubble across dual carriageway as he tried to escape police
Man jailed for dumping rubble on A14 during police chase
A MAN who stole a builder’s pick-up truck deliberately dumped rubble across the dual carriageway on the A14 on two occasions as he tried to get away from police during a chase that reached speeds of up to 90mph, a court has heard.
Two police drivers were forced to brake hard and other motorists were forced to brake and swerve to avoid the debris on the first occasion and the cloud of dust from the second load of rubble was so dense that the officers and other drivers were forced to come to a halt because they couldn’t see where they were going, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Glen Norman, 27, who drove off in the truck after its owner left the keys in the ignition in Stowmarket was arrested after abandoning the truck in St Ives, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.
Norman, of Huntingdon, admitted dangerous driving, causing danger to road users by obstructing the road, taking the pick up truck without consent, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
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Jailing him for three and a half years and banning him from driving for five years Judge John Holt said, “This piece of driving must have lasted about an hour and at least 40 miles was driven by you.”
He said Norman had reached speeds of 80-90 mph during the chase and had prevented police cars from passing him by going backwards and forwards from the fast lane into the slow lane.
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On the first occasion Norman raised the back of the truck none of the rubble spilled out on to ther road but when he tried again a large amount of rubble had landed on the road. “The officers braked hard and members of the public braked and swerved to avoid the debris,” said Judge Holt.
As Norman approached Higham he raised the tipper again and the rest of the rubble landed on the road in a cloud of dust that was so dense that traffic was brought to a halt.
During the course of his driving Norman was seen to undertake a number of vehicles and was also seen tossing small items out the driver’s window while almost colliding with the central reservation.
Mr Crimp told the court the pick-up truck belonged to Antony Lee who had left it with the keys in the ignition in the driveway of a house he was working at in Poplar Hill Stowmarket on July 3.
After Norman drove off in the truck Mr Lee had chased after him and described Norman as “flooring it” causing some of the rubble in the back to fall out as he went round a rounabout at the bottom of the road.
James McLernon for Norman said his client was autistic and had mental health problems associated with the condition.
He accepted Norman’s driving had been “appalling” and that he had placed other road users at risk.
Norman had taken the truck because he needed to get home and he hadn’t intended to permanently deprive the owner of it.
“It was a stupid decision that was influenced by his mental health problems,” said Mr McLernon. He said Norman had previous convictions for similar offences.