Driver who did U-turn on A14 is jailed

A BANNED driver who did a handbrake turn in the middle of the A14 during a police chase has been locked up for ten months.

Jane Hunt

A BANNED driver who did a handbrake turn in the middle of the A14 during a police chase has been locked up for ten months.

Having completed a U-turn in the road 19-year-old Kieron Watkins had then driven the wrong way up a slip road, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Watkins, 20, of Marland Road, Taverham, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to stop for a police officer. He was sentenced to ten months in a young offenders' institution and banned from driving for two years. He was also ordered to take an extended driving test at the end of his ban.

Sentencing Watkins Judge David Goodin described him as “a danger on the road” and warned him to stay away from cars until he had completed his driving ban and taken the extended driving test.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting said that in the early hours of August 6 police officers were attending a broken down car on a slip road in Bury Road, Ipswich.

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An officer was standing at the top of the slip road slowing down traffic when a Vauxhall Astra estate driven by Watkins drove towards him.

The car had initially slowed down but had then swerved round the officer and headed towards the A14 forcing a policeman standing near the broken down car to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Officers followed the Vauxhall Astra along the A14 towards Bury St Edmunds and activated the blue flashing light on their car to indicate the driver should stop.

Watkins had driven at speeds of up to 80mph and on two occasions has braked sharply in an attempt to cause the police car to collide with the back of his car.

As he drove along the A14 at Needham Market Watkins had performed a handbrake turn in the middle of the road and had then driven the wrong way up a slip road.

Fortunately there were no vehicles on the slip road at the time, said Mr Duah.

Watkins, whose girlfriend was in the passenger seat, had then gone to Needham Lakes and had driven over a six foot high grass mound.

When his car hit the ground he and his girlfriend had got out of the car and Watkins was stopped by police before he could run off.

Watkins had initially claimed that his girlfriend had been driving the car but later accepted responsibility.

Guy Ayers for Watkins said his client accepted he was likely to receive a custodial sentence. “Luckily no-one was hurt as a result of his behaviour,” he said.

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