Banned driver crashed after Nordelph police chase

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A banned driver crashed his car near a West Norfolk village last week while being chased by police at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, a court has heard.

Magistrates deemed Ashley Barnes’ case too serious for them to deal with when he appeared before them in Lynn on Monday.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

And he was committed to appear before Norwich Crown Court for sentencing on a date yet to be fixed. An interim driving disqualification was also imposed.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said a police officer had been driving along Silt Road, Nordelph, towards Three Holes, at around 5.30pm last Monday, May 8, when he came across a Ford Escort driven by Barnes and carrying several other men as passengers.

Although the car was heading in the opposite direction, the officer turned round and followed it, intending to stop it, the bench heard.

But he was forced to call for assistance as Barnes accelerated to at least 80 miles per hour before crashing in a series of bends.

Mr Harold said the officer had been driving at 80 miles per hour without closing up on the car.

The court was told the car went sideways before leaving the road and rolling over several times and coming to rest in a field.

Barnes, of Coldhorn Crescent, Wisbech, and his passengers managed to escape.

Mr Harold said that, when asked by the officer why he had acted as he did, he told him: “I haven’t got a licence.”

The court heard he had previously been disqualified under the totting up procedure.

During a subsequent police interview, he said he had intended to escape from the officer and lost control of the vehicle.

He also admitted he had been smoking cannabis during the day, prior to the crash happening.

George Sorrell, mitigating, asked for his client’s bail to be extended while he awaited sentence, which was granted.

He also sought assurances a probation report would be prepared ahead of the sentencing hearing.