Tree surgeon fled police at twice speed limit in Nissan Skyline

Ipswich crown court building with union flag

Bury St Edmunds man warned he faces jail over threatening messages sent to former partner - Credit: Archant

A driver who tried to avoid being caught in possession of cannabis ended up in worse trouble after leading police on a chase at speeds of more than twice the limit.

Jacob Fordham drove his Nissan Skyline GT-R at up to 70mph in a residential street just outside Colchester, before crashing and writing the vehicle off shortly after 9pm on February 20 last year.

The 25-year-old tree surgeon, who later told police he had fled in order to avoid being caught with 4.4 grammes of cannabis, was handed a community 12-month community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work, at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.

Fordham, of Dowling Road, Mount Bures, was also banned from driving for two years, fined a total of £2,100 and ordered to pay court costs of £700 by Judge Martyn Levett.

Prosecutor Jerry Hayes said police attempted to stop Fordham's car after seeing it slow down on the approach to a speed camera and immediately accelerate away.

Officers were instructed to give up the chase as the Nissan reached speeds of 70mph – but colleagues relocated the vehicle and picked up the pursuit on the Halstead Road roundabout in Eight Ash Green.

Fordham drove at 50mph in a 30mph zone, overtaking other vehicles on the wrong side of the road, before turning into Wood Lane and narrowly avoiding a collision.

Most Read

Mr Hayes said he then "dramatically increased speed" in wet conditions – driving out of site in excess of 70mph.

Police finally caught up with Fordham at the side of the road after he lost control and crashed outside the Three Horseshoes pub in Fordham.

He later admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop and possession of cannabis at a plea hearing in November.

Roderick Johnson QC, mitigating, said Fordham had told the author of a psychological report that he had been upset and depressed at the time, but knew he had acted wrongly and wanted to move on.

"He is shocked at himself for putting other road users at risk," added Mr Johnson, who said Johnson had difficulty communicating with people and had been the victim of bullying. 

"He sought solace in cannabis, but hasn't used it in two months," he added.

He said Fordham had a strong work ethic and had bought the car with his savings only five weeks before the incident.