Court: Former Suffolk Show director Peter Over admits driving dangerously in police chase

A FORMER director of the Suffolk Show has admitted an episode of dangerous driving which led to a police pursuit and ended in a collision.

Peter Over, of Elmswell Hall Farm, Elmswell, appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with driving dangerously through a number of Suffolk villages and on the A14 on March 25.

Over, 48, is a senior figure behind the Suffolk Show and is a well-known farmer with 500 acres of land in the county.

The court heard that despite being pursued by police, Over continued to drive his Toyota Land Cruiser dangerously through Tostock, towards Elmswell, along the A14 and then coming off and ending with an accident in the Wetherden area.

He collided with a Mazda driven by carer Lucy Woodley, who was signed off work as a result of her injuries which included fractures to her right arm.

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Sarah-Jane Atkins, prosecuting, said Pc Andrew Sedgwick had been in an unmarked police car on the evening of March 25 when he saw Over pull out of the car park in front of the Bear Inn in Beyton.

The court heard he ended up following the defendant along the five-mile route until the accident happened. After he saw Over mount the grass verge a number of times and cross a white line in the middle of the road, he illuminated his police car lights and turned on the siren.

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The court heard Pc Sedgwick had witnessed Over driving at a low speed – 45mph to 50mph on a road with a 60mph-limit – but when the lights and siren were turned on the Toyota accelerated away.

The officer said no attempt was made to stop or for him to pass, so he contacted his control room.

Pc Sedgwick also witnessed Over driving at about 60mph on a road with a 30mph speed limit, and further along the route at about 80mph on a 60mph road.

The officer also said he saw Over driving on the wrong side of the road, putting oncoming vehicles in “harm’s way.”

Following the collision, Over was breath-tested. While showing positive for alcohol, the readings were too low for a drink-drive offence to have been committed.

The court heard that at the time of her statement Ms Woodley had been signed off work for six weeks. She said her clients with learning difficulties had been caused “confusion and distress” by the fact that she is currently unable to look after them.

Her Mazda vehicle, worth about �12,500 when she bought it, was a write-off as a result of the accident.

Over’s lawyer said the basis of the guilty plea was the episode at the end which resulted in the accident.

Over was released on unconditional bail to return back at court on May 24 to be sentenced.

District Judge David Cooper also issued Over with an interim driving disqualification.

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