‘Extremely dangerous’ Michael Elmstrom is jailed after car chase

Jailed: Michael Elmstrom

Jailed: Michael Elmstrom - Credit: Archant

A police officer feared he would be killed when an “extremely dangerous” man made to ram his car head on during a pursuit.

Michael Elmstrom, 34, who had earlier threatened his ex-partner’s family and horse, was jailed for two years when he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court.

Elmstrom, of Dunnock Way, St Ives, had threatened there would be a “bloodbath” if his ex-partner contacted the police.

The court heard that on March 6 police received a phone call from a woman in St Ives saying she had broken up with her partner four days earlier and he had since been sending her threatening text messages.

Elmstrom had threatened to shoot her horse, ruin the lives of people close to her and smash her windows and car.

PC Sam Thompson was out on patrol in an unmarked vehicle in the St Ives area when the call came in to find and arrest Elmstrom. He spotted the 34-year-old driving a blue Volkswagen Transporter van near Hemingford Grey and he followed him. On confirmation from the force control room that this was the suspect’s vehicle, an armed response unit was deployed.

The unit caught up with them and signalled for Elmstrom to pull over but he failed to do so and a pursuit took place around the St Ives lasting about 30 minutes in which he reached speeds of about 50mph in a 30mph zone outside a school and 100mph on the A14.

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The unmarked vehicle PC Thompson was in was waiting in Elmstrom’s path on the A1198, ready to deploy a “stinger” to stop his vehicle.

PC Thompson said: “I pulled over and got out of my vehicle, collecting a stinger device from the back seat. There was no hard cover such as a wall or a tree to hide behind as it is a wide open bypass and I could see the subject vehicle coming up the hill towards me at approximately 80 to 90mph.

“I was horrified at this point as the van left its side of the road and swerved towards the front of my vehicle, it didn’t slow down or change direction, it just continued to drive straight at me.”

PC Thompson said: “I was fearful he was going to ram my car head on, killing me as I was stood behind it. I couldn’t run away as I thought he was trying to hit me and I had nowhere to hide. I stood still behind my car waiting to see what was going to happen and ready to dive clear if he did hit my car.

“I have never been so scared in my entire life, everything was like it was in slow motion and I remember thinking ‘this is it, I’m dead’. At the last minute he swerved away back onto his side of the road and I jumped forwards throwing the stinger, puncturing one of the rear tyres.”

It took another stinger before Elmstrom came to a halt on the Papworth bypass where he was arrested.

Elmstrom admitted two charges of criminal damage, dangerous driving and sending malicious communications at a hearing last month.

On Monday, he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court and was sentenced to 24 months in prison. He was also been disqualified from driving for two years and 10 months and ordered to take an extended retest.

PC Emma Holmes, who investigated the case, said: “Elmstrom is an extremely dangerous individual who put many lives in danger on that day. He had no regard for anyone’s safety, exceeding speed limits and also mounting a kerb outside a school when the children were due to be coming out.”