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Dangerous driver jailed for 23 months following police chase through Chatham

PUBLISHED: 08:26 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:28 10 August 2017

Samuel Hardstaff

Samuel Hardstaff

Archant

The pursuit had to be called off by officers because it was deemed too extreme

A banned Chatham motorist who drove dangerously to avoid arrest has been jailed for 23 months.

Samuel Hardstaff, 25, of St Leonard’s Avenue, was spotted behind the wheel of a white transit van in the Delce Road area of Rochester on April 7.

A marked police car indicated for him to stop but he instead sped off in the direction of Chatham, overtaking several cars that were waiting at a red light.

Hardstaff performed various other high-speed manoeuvres and blind turns before he left the road at Snodhurst Bottom and escaped into a wooded area.

The police pursuit was called off due to public safety concerns but within minutes officers had received a report that two men had been seen to abandon the van in nearby Concord Avenue. They were captured on CCTV cameras and the driver was later confirmed as being Hardstaff.

He was located and arrested just over a fortnight later.

Hardstaff pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on August 7.

Investigating officer PC Matthew Crow said: “Driving is a privilege that should be taken seriously but Samuel Hardstaff has demonstrated he is not responsible enough to be behind the wheel.

“He placed the lives of other motorists and pedestrians in danger when he sped away from police in a desperate attempt to avoid arrest. Hopefully he is now aware that our eyes and ears are everywhere, and that there is no hiding place from the law.”

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