WATCH: Dramatic police chase through town sees drug driver jailed
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
Dramatic dash-cam footage has captured a police chase through a Suffolk town which saw the fleeing driver almost hit a dog walker.
Beck Row driver Claire Waterman sent officers on an eight-mile wild chase through Mildenhall and Lakenheath last summer after being spotted driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone.
Officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) chased her through the towns on July 25 – with the 47-year-old driving on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to escape, almost hitting a dog walker.
She also drove the wrong way around a roundabout, struck a kerb and hit a bump in the road so hard that all four wheels of her Volkswagen Golf left the road.
Officers had attempted to pull her over in Brandon Road, Mildenhall, after noticing the car did not have an MOT or insurance – with Waterman initially pulling over in Hornbeam Road before making off at speed after a police officer had exited their car.
After narrowly avoiding accidents, Waterman took the car off road into a dead-end track before driving into a hedge.
Upon her arrest, officers found a bag of white powder inside her purse, which was later found to be cocaine.
Waterman, of Aspal Hall Road in Beck Row, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on June 1, having pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving with excess drugs, possession of a Class A drug, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
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She was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment and disqualified from driving for four years, with a five-month extension – and will be required to take an extended re-test.
PC George Laflin, who was one of the RAPT officers in the pursuing vehicle, said: "Claire Waterman’s actions were extremely reckless and showed complete disregard for the safety of other road users and pedestrians and it was fortunate that no one was harmed during the incident.
"Not only was she speeding and performing dangerous manoeuvres, she was driving under the influence of drugs which meant her ability to control the vehicle was greatly diminished.
"I am very pleased with the sentence handed down by the court, which sends out a strong message to people who would break the law in this way that it will not be tolerated.
"I suspect that Waterman made-off from us as she knew she was over the drug-drive limit, but all she achieved in the process was to commit a more serious offence and put peoples’ lives at greater risk. We will continue to remove reckless drivers from our roads and make them safe places for all users.”