Driver ran af­ter 70mph chase in £31k stolen car

Ex­clu­sive ‘The Audi left the de­signer out­let and came across the po­lice cars and ac­cel­er­ated away’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Dangerous Driving - By Paul Hooper

Two peo­ple seen in a £31,000 stolen Audi near Ash­ford’s de­signer out­let have been con­victed of ag­gra­vated ve­hi­cle tak­ing.

A jury heard how it failed to stop and ac­cel­er­ated away lead­ing po­lice of­fi­cers on a high-speed chase around the out­skirts of the town.

The Audi reached speeds of 70mph in a 30mph area, jump­ing red traf­fic lights and driv­ing on the wrong side of the road, Can­ter­bury Crown Court heard.

The car sped along Nor­man Road, Beaver Road, Beaver Lane and Brook­field Road, pur­sued by the po­lice.

Even­tu­ally the car was forced to a stop by po­lice near the Mata­lan round­about and four of the five peo­ple in­side were ar­rested. The driver ran off but has since been iden­ti­fied, said An­drew Es­p­ley, pros­e­cut­ing.

Reece Wil­liams, 24, and Suzanne Hef­fer­man, 45, who de­nied the of­fence were found guilty.

But two oth­ers, Ash­ley Wool­ven, 31, Vaughan Porter, 34, from Hither Green were found not guilty by the jury.

Wil­liams, of Green­wich, was or­dered to do 200 hours of un­paid work for the com­mu­nity and banned from driv­ing for three months and Hef­fer­man, of Len­ham Road, Head­corn was fined £600.

Mr Es­p­ley had re­vealed how the Audi had been stolen from a drive­way in Sevenoaks on Oc­to­ber 31 last year and was spot­ted on sev­eral oc­ca­sions sport­ing fake num­ber plates.

On Novem­ber 2, it was seen with the same false plates in Lon­don and the fol­low­ing day with dif­fer­ent fake plates in Dart­ford and Blue­wa­ter.

Then on Novem­ber 4 it was seen in Maid­stone and Or­p­ing­ton with the sec­ond set of false plates but that af­ter­noon it had the first set of false plates back on – with the other set un­der­neath – when it was in Ash­ford’s de­signer out­let.

Mr Es­p­ley added: “The Audi left the de­signer out­let and came across the po­lice cars and ac­cel­er­ated away. It was driven ex­tremely dan­ger­ously and even­tu­ally crashed into a tree.”

The pas­sen­gers were ar­rested and all four said that they did not know the car had been stolen.

Mr Es­p­ley added: “It de­fies com­mon sense to think that they were in a state of bliss­ful ig­no­rance while driv­ing around in a £31,000 car.”

The stolen Audi was spot­ted in the de­signer out­let

The car was forced to stop near the Mata­lan round­about

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