Man led police on high-speed chase through Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
A 22-year-old man who led police on a seven-minute chase through Bury St Edmunds while throwing wraps of crack cocaine out of the window has avoided prison.
Jack Baldwin was behind the wheel of a Toyota Yaris on the outskirts of Bury on August 8, 2019, when a police officer travelling in the opposite direction recognised him as someone who was electronically tagged.
The officer turned his car around and began following Baldwin but there was one other car in between them, Jude Durr, prosecuting, told the court.
While the officer was following Baldwin, he checked the status of the Yaris and found it was a hire car, Mr Durr said.
As they got into Bury St Edmunds, along Westley Road, the officer put his blue lights on but Baldwin accelerated away into York Road.
He then turned into Out Risbygate, narrowly missing a pedestrian, before driving on the wrong side of the road past West Suffolk College.
Mr Durr said Baldwin was driving well in excess of the speed limit as he continued along Newmarket Road before turning into Western Way.
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There were temporary roadworks in place but Baldwin went straight through a red light, forcing oncoming cars to take evasive action, the court heard.
Baldwin then turned left onto Oakes Road before taking St Olaves Road on the town's Howard estate.
Due to the speed bumps in the road the officer was forced to slow down but described Baldwin as hitting the bumps at speed, getting high off the ground.
The Yaris eventually came to a stop when Baldwin crashed into a stationary Audi A3, which did have two passengers inside.
Baldwin decamped the car and tried to hide in nearby gardens but was located and arrested.
The whole chase lasted around seven minutes and various packages were jettisoned from the window of the car, Mr Durr said.
In total, police recovered 16.4 grams of crack cocaine.
The manager of the car hire company confirmed Baldwin had not rented the car, and said the whole incident had led to a £10,000 loss for the business.
Baldwin, of Acorn Close, Enfield, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, and possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Jack Jennett, mitigating, said Baldwin had sought help for his drug addiction and was now clean of drugs.
He said Baldwin had bought the drugs in bulk because it was cheaper.
Baldwin is now training to be a plumber and showed "significant remorse" for his actions, Mr Jennett added.
Recorder Jeremy Benson QC sentenced Baldwin to 20 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work.
Baldwin must wear an electronic tag for three months, and he was also ordered to pay £750 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £149.