Harlow driver jailed after police chase through rural Essex

An uninsured driver who drove dangerously at speeds of up to 70mph along rural Essex roads has been jailed for 12 months.

Michael Maughan, 27, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, put lives at risk by driving on the wrong side of the road and on pavements during a 45-minute pursuit which ended in north London last month.

On November 8, Colchester magistrates jailed Maughan for 12 months and disqualified him from driving for five years.

Maughan was also ordered to pay a total of £272.

He had previously admitted driving dangerously and driving without insurance.

The court heard on October 16 this year, officers were called to reports of people in a Range Rover trespassing in pursuit of game on land in north-west Essex.

The Range Rover left the scene but was soon located by a National Police Air Service helicopter in Cambridge Road, Newport.

Rural engagement officers in two marked patrol vehicles attempted to stop the Range Rover at 3.14pm but Maughan, who was driving, failed to stop, hitting one of the police vehicles and disabling it in the process.

The officer in the second vehicle tracked the Range Rover as it reached speeds of 70mph in 30mph speed limits, forcing other drivers and a cyclist to take evasive action as it travelled through red traffic signals, on the wrong side of the carriageway and on pavements at times.

In Enfield, north London, Metropolitan Police vehicles arrived to assist but Maughan continued to drive dangerously in a heavily-populated urban area.

A second, unmarked, Essex Police vehicle was rammed by Maughan as he continued to try to escape.

The pursuit was ended just before 4pm by officers, who brought the Range Rover safely to a stop. Maughan was then arrested at on suspicion of dangerous driving.

An officer suffered minor injuries in the collision and received hospital treatment but was back on duty the next day.

Sergeant Paul Brady, of Essex Police’s rural engagement team, said: “Our officer put himself in harm’s way in order to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

“Maughan drove with complete disregard for the safety of other road users and it was a miracle no-one was killed or seriously injured as a result of his actions.

“Not only did he exceed the speed limit for the majority of the time, Maughan also ignored red lights, drove on the wrong side of the carriageway and mounted the pavement near pedestrians as he attempted to evade justice.

“But the rural engagement team are a dogged lot and despite Maughan’s desperate attempts to escape from them, they were not going to let it happen.”


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