24th Feb, 2021

Rugby man sped away from police along pavement, despite being targeted with incapacitant spray

A RUGBY man who sped away from the police despite being targeted with an incapacitant spray, then drove along a pavement to escape another patrol car, has been jailed.

Matthew Checkley, who was finally dragged from his car and arrested, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no licence or insurance, and driving with excess drugs in his system.

The 35-year-old of Royal Court, Rounds Gardens, was jailed for ten months and banned from driving for two years and five months.

He had turned up late for his hearing at Warwick Crown Court, having been refused entry three days earlier when he had arrived the worse for wear through drink or drugs.

Prosecutor David Jackson said at just after midnight on August 3 last year the police were alerted to a Ford Mondeo, and officers caught up with the car in Newbold Road in Rugby.

They put on their blue light to get him to stop, and he pulled slightly to the left as though he was going to comply, but then kept going.

he Mondeo then stalled at a roundabout, and when one of the officers approached the car he could see Checkley trying to start it and told him not to.

But Checkley ignored the officer and started the car, so the officer sprayed him with his pava spray, ‘but he drove off anyway,’ said Mr Jackson.

Other police patrols were alerted, and the Mondeo was spotted in Harborough Magna, with Checkley walking away from it.

But when he saw the police car, he jumped back in and sped off towards Brinklow, pursued by the officers.

As he then headed towards Coventry along the A428 Checkley mounted the kerb on several occasions and went through a red light as he continued through Binley and onto the Morrisons store car park.

The officers tried to block him in to prevent him leaving the car park, but he swerved round the police car and drove along the pavement to get off the car park and into Kynner Way.

In doing so he damaged the rear bumper of the car which was being dragged along as he continued into Herald Way where he was ‘nudged’ by a police car and forced to stop.

Even then, he refused to get out of the Mondeo, and when the officers smashed the car window and dragged him out, he was clearly ‘under the influence of something,’ added Mr Jackson.

Colin Charvill, defending, suggested Checkley could be given a chance by being given a suspended sentence.

But Judge Peter Cooke told Checkley: “This is a case where only immediate custody fits the bill.”

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