Car dealer cleared of dangerous driving in Colchester

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Crown Court, Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

An Essex car trader who claimed he rammed a police car and two other cars because he feared for his life has been cleared of dangerous driving and criminal damage by a jury.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Lenice Murrain, 34, of no fixed address, who had denied dangerous driving and criminal damage to a police car and two other vehicles on February 18.

He was found not guilty of all charges.

During his trial it was alleged that police officers pulled up behind Murrain’s parked car in Old Ipswich Road, Colchester, tapped on the window and told him to “open up”.

Murrain allegedly looked at the officer before starting the car, revving the engine and reversing “fairly fast” into the front of the police car.

The police officer and his colleague tried to smash the windows of the Ford Focus with their batons but Murrain reversed again at speed into the police car before driving forward and colliding with a parked car in front.

He allegedly repeated the ramming manoeuvre several times before driving at speed towards a Peugeot causing the driver, Colin Maidwell, who was standing by the car to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

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Murrain had allegedly then driven at speeds of between 50 and 70 miles an hour to Colchester police station where he stopped and was arrested.

During the journey to the police station Murrain had allegedly overtaken vehicles on the wrong side of the road causing oncoming vehicles to take avoiding action and jumped red traffic lights.

During police interviews Murrain claimed he had no idea the men trying to smash his windows were police officers and said he had driven to the police station because he feared for his life.

The court heard that Mr Maidwell and Murrain were both car traders and shortly after Christmas Mr Maidwell claimed he was the victim of a burglary.

Police had wanted to speak to Murrain about the alleged burglary and on February 18 Mr Maidwell had contacted the police after seeing Murrain’s car in Colchester.

The court heard that Murrain denied any connection with the burglary.

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