December 7, 2016
Motorist jailed after 116mph police chase along M5 to Burnham-On-Sea

A motorist has been jailed after a 116mph dash along the M5 from Wellington to Burnham-On-Sea, a court has heard this week.

Ben Wood, 32, took off after an officer in an unmarked police car made a check on his car at a Shell garage outside Wellington at 1.30am on July 13th and asked for his documents.

He raced along the M5 approach road and up the northbound sliproad at about 80mph and was doing 100mph by Taunton Deane Services, said Emma Martin, prosecuting, during the trial at Taunton Crown Court.

Other police officers were alerted and the force helicopter was also mobilised as his speed reached 113mph between junctions 25 and 24 and he drove on the hard shoulder to pass two lorries on the inside.

After reaching 116mph, he turned off the motorway at junction 23 and headed to Burnham-On-Sea, at speeds of up to 65mph in a 30mph area.

The helicopter followed as he finally stopped in Burnham-On-Sea and he and another man in the car were then taken to the ground and arrested by other officers.

Wood refused to take a breath test and later pleaded guilty to failing to give a specimen, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving uninsured.

Patrick Mason, defending, said Mr Wood was involved with drugs at an early age and committed a number of offences, sometimes involving motor vehicles, but also including robbery associated with his drug problem which had previously resulted in a six-year prison sentence. He was released in April 2015 and wanted to start a new life but, two weeks after these offences, he was sentenced in Sussex to 12 weeks for other matters.

Wood, appearing by video link from Lewes Prison, was sentenced to 16 months and disqualified for two years.

Judge David Ticehurst said it was clear from his record that he showed "a marked disregard for the law." He added that it had been "exceptionally dangerous" to have driven as he'd done and that he was fortunate not to have killed or injured someone.


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