Jail for van driver from St Ives who drove on wheel rim for 10 miles when police stinger shredded tyre
- Credit: Archant
A van driver from St Ives who drove on the metal rim of one tyre for about 10 miles after police deployed a stinger during a pursuit has been jailed.
Luke Hodgkins, 25, had been seen attempting to steal a water bowser trailer worth about £3,000 from Hunstanton Heritage Gardens, in Norfolk.
Norwich Crown Court heard Hodgkins’ red transit van was later spotted by an officer at the Knights Hill roundabout at King’s Lynn.
A stinger device was used by police which damaged the front passenger side tyre but the vehicle kept going.
Police continued to pursue the van which ended up driving on three good wheels and a metal rim after the damaged tyre came off.
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Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Hodgkins carried on for about 10 miles along roads including the A47 and A17 and through Clenchwarton and Terrington St Clement.
He drove at speeds of about 45mph to 50mph in mostly 30mph zones
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Mr Ivory said: “It would appear the driver was struggling to control the vehicle.”
At one stage Hodgkins even overtook an ambulance, forcing it and an oncoming vehicle to stop to avoid it.
Mr Ivory said: “Other road users were having to pull over to keep out of the way and eventually it came to a stop at Sutton Bridge.”
Hodgkins, of St Ives, appeared at Norwich Crown Court last Thursday (June 29) when he admitted dangerous driving on April 4 this year.
Hodgkins also admitted driving without insurance and an offence of attempted theft on the same day.
Jailing Hodgkins for a total of 10 months, Judge Anthony Bate said it was “only through good fortune that no-one was seriously injured or worse”.
Jacqui Appleton, mitigating for Hodgkins, who has 10 previous convictions for 17 offences, said these were serious offences.
She said he had pleaded guilty to the full facts on all the matters and had “panicked when he saw the police behind him”.
Hodgkins was also disqualified from driving for 17 months.