Drunk-driver’s V-sign to police during 15-minute car chase along A11

The A11. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The A11. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A drunk scaffolder who was driving a stolen work van threw a drink can out out of the window and made a “V” sign at police officers during a chase on the A11 in Suffolk, a court has heard.

During the 15min pursuit, Lloyd Ward swerved from side to side to prevent the pursuing officers, who had activated the blue flashing lights and siren on their vehicle, from getting past him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

At one stage Ward, who was more than three times the drink drive limit, threw a drink can out of the window and made a “V” sign at the pursuing officers, said Peter Gair, prosecuting.

He managed to avoid a stinger device put in the road by police in a bid to stop him but went over a second device causing the van tyres to puncture.

Ward was arrested shortly afterwards after the van swerved across the road and came to a halt.

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Ward, 28, of Melbourne Road, Chester, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and driving without insurance.

Jailing him for 12 months and banning him from driving for two years, Judge Rupert Overbury described Ward as “irresponsible” and said he had committed a serious combination of offences.

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He said if he didn’t send Ward straight to prison, it would send out the wrong message to anyone who chose to drink and drive and behave in the way he did to the police.

Mr Gair told the court that Ward and a colleague had been staying in a hotel in Wellingborough and in the early hours of January 6 the defendant had taken the keys to their works van and drove to Suffolk.

The van was seen on the A11 and police began following it in the area of Red Lodge at 9.30am.

When Ward failed to stop upon request, officers chased the van along the A11 towards Thetford until forcing it to come to halt near the B1107 around 9.45am.

Michael Whitty, for Ward, said his client - who was a provisional licence holder - had driven his works van to Suffolk because he wanted to sort out a family issue.

“He knows he could have harmed himself or anyone else he cane into contact with,” said Mr Whitty.

He said that fortunately no-one had been injured and there had been no damage to any vehicle apart from Ward’s works van.

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