Driver escapes jail sentence

PUBLISHED: 18:35 10 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:36 17 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH man, who was caught by police after a high-speed car chase, escaped a prison sentence last week after lenient magistrates decided to give him a second chance . Alex Maskell, 18, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving without i

A SIDMOUTH man, who was caught by police after a high-speed car chase, escaped a prison sentence last week after lenient magistrates decided to give him a "second chance".

Alex Maskell, 18, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to stop for police at Central Devon Magistrates Court last Friday.

Magistrates imposed on Maskell a supervision requirement for 12 months, a curfew for four weeks, costs of £60 and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

He must also continue with an unpaid community work order.

Maskell was told by magistrates this was his final warning and he would "not be given another chance".

Police arrested Maskell on Monday, October 20 after a high-speed car chase.

He was eventually caught after police laid a 'stinger' across the road near East Hill which punctured his car tyres and forced him to crash into a nearby grass bank.

Mrs Hillary Drew, chairman of the panel, said: "This was not an easy decision. You are hovering on the edge of prison.

"You have been cooperative but you had to be as you were caught with a stinger. You were caught red handed."

"This sentence will protect the public of Sidmouth and the outlying areas. At the minute you are a danger to yourself and to others."

Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said: "I am slightly disappointed that the punishment was not stronger but the sentence is laid down by the court which is in possession of all the facts.

"Our point of view seeing the standard of his driving is that if there had been anymore road users on that road someone would have died.

"The PC pursuing him registered speeds of 100 mph along East Hill Strips and 70 mph on the narrow country lanes. The chances of him stopping were just not possible."

Sergeant Turner also warned motorists that police are cracking down on rogue drivers.

He added: "This should be a message to anybody who drives whilst disqualified or in a dangerous manner that they will be caught by the police.


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