Ripley man jailed for car rampage
A RIPLEY man who launched a terrifying high speed bid to escape from police in the town centre has been jailed.
Neil Pickford, 25, of Chestnut Avenue in Ripley, mounted pavements, smashed into other vehicles and reversed the wrong way down streets in his Ford Fiesta as he attempted to evade arrest.
He was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for two-and-a -half years at Derby Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, making off without payment and driving without a licence.
On November 3, Pickford filled his car up with 30 worth of petrol at a service station in South Normanton but left without paying.
The incident was caught on CCTV and four days later police spotted him driving the car on Argyll Road in Ripley but he sped off, accelerating to more than 55mph along the residential streets.
A chase ensued and was filmed from the police helicopter. The video was played in court.
Faye Mellor, prosecuting, said: "He collided with a car that had a little girl in, and her two parents, and a non-emergency ambulance that had two patients inside."
On Broadway, he mounted the pavement after a car coming the opposite way blocked the road. After passing six stationary vehicles, he crashed into an ambulance.
He then reversed on the pavement and drove through a gap between two parked cars only to collide with a police car.
He then drove down Nottingham Road, Grosvenor Road and Derby Road where he mounted the pavement in front of shops sending signs flying and pedestrians ducking out of the way.
Pickford finally came to a halt in Cedar Avenue, after one of his tyres blew and he lost a wheel.
Pickford, who has been twice disqualified from driving in the last three years, told the police he had owned the car for about four days, was not insured and did not have a driving licence.
Quentin Robbins, for Pickford, said: "The only mitigation is his co-operation and early plea, also his remorse in an interview and his letter to the judge."
Judge Burgess said that the offence was made worse by the fact Pickford was not insured.
He said: "All the owners of the cars you hit cannot claim on your insurance."
He disqualified Pickford from driving for 30 months and told him he would need to pass an extended test before being allowed to drive again.
Chf Supt Lynne Harris said: "The actions of Neil Pickford showed a blatant disregard not only for the law but also for the safety of the public and my officers.
"Frankly, it is extremely lucky that no-one was seriously injured."
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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