Bridlington man drove into police car in high-speed chase along country roads

A man who drove into a police car during a high-speed chase along country roads has been jailed for 12 months.

William Arthur Smith, 29, was in a stolen Vauxhall Astra which sped from cops in an unmarked police car, York Crown Court heard.

Smith, from Bridlington, sped down narrow country lanes in Gate Helmsley, Stamford Bridge and Duggleby at speeds of up to 80mph, said prosecutor Kelly Sherif.

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He overtook vehicles after crossing solid white lines and shot straight over a junction before being pursued by a second police vehicle.

York Crown Court

The two police cars tried to block him in, but Smith drove the Astra into one of the vehicles, mounted a grass verge and drove around them, before speeding off again.

Police laid a ‘stinger’ further up the road, added Ms Sherif.

But before Smith reached the trap, the Astra careered off the road while he sped round a sharp bend and crashed into a hedgerow.

Smith got out of the vehicle and tried to run off, but officers caught up with him after a foot chase.

William Arthur Smith.

He was arrested and hauled into custody, where he told an officer: “I buy one poxy car and this happens.

"It’s got no tax, no MoT and no insurance. I wasn’t gonna stop.”

Ms Sherif said that the Vauxhall, belonging to a named man, had been stolen from an address in Malton on October 18.

Smith, who lives on a traveller’s site in Woldgate, was charged with dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking and having no insurance or licence to drive the car.

He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Friday.

Ms Sherif said traffic officers spotted the Astra on the A166 at Murton at about 11.30pm on October 1.

They suspected it was a stolen vehicle and switched on the blue lights, but the Astra sped away towards Gate Helmsley, overtaking vehicles at “excessive speed” before turning into back roads towards Stamford Bridge, with the speed dial teetering on 80mph.

Neil Cutte, mitigating, said that Smith had bought the vehicle “for a couple of hundred pounds from a man he knows”.

He added that Smith, who paid in cash, knew the car wasn’t legitimate but “didn’t know where it came from”.

Smith was on his way to see a family member who wanted the car’s engine when he was clocked by police.

Mr Cutte said that Smith, a father-of-four, had “let his family down”.

Judge Simon Hickey told Smith: “Anybody who drives in a way that you did…(must) go to prison.”

He slammed Smith for putting police and other motorists in danger on “tiny” roads through country villages.

Smith will serve half of the 12-month sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence.

He was also slapped with a two-year driving ban.