Cheltenham man jailed for leading police on 141-mile chase in baby dash | Crime


Lauchlan Pritchard sped at 90mph, ran red lights and tried to ram a police car as he tried to get to birth in Kent

A man has been jailed for leading police on a dangerous 141-mile car chase through half a dozen police force areas because his partner was in labour and he wanted to get to her in time.

When Lauchlan Pritchard, 25, was finally stopped in Kent after driving through red lights, going the wrong way along a dual carriageway and trying to hit a police car, he told officers he thought his driving had been “brilliant”.

Pritchard, from Cheltenham, admitted dangerous driving and not having insurance or a valid licence and was jailed for 12 months at Gloucester crown court.

Steven Young, defending, said: “The reason he was driving to Kent was that his partner had gone into labour and that was where he was heading. That’s why he took the route he did. Luckily for all concerned there was no collision, but admittedly there were numerous examples of dangerous driving during the long pursuit.”

The judge Rupert Lowe told Pritchard: “You seemed to enjoy the police chase. You even claimed your driving was brilliant. You travelled at 90mph for long periods of time.”

Neil Treharne, prosecuting, told the court that on 20 November last year at about 9pm Gloucestershire police were alerted to a Suzuki Vitara being driven around Cirencester on cloned number plates.

Police began to follow the driver, who turned out to be Pritchard, as he joined the M4 heading towards London. When the officer activated their blue lights, he accelerated to 90mph and swerved across all three lanes of the motorway trying to get away.

Police followed him down a string of A-roads and motorways, and after he reached the M26 in Kent, police tried to pass him.

“As they did so Pritchard swerved the car about, narrowly missing the police vehicle,” Treharne said. “Pritchard then tried to hit the police vehicle many times but all his attempts were thwarted.”

Later, Pritchard drove into the market town of West Malling, Kent, at speed. Treharne said: “There were members of the public walking in the area. He suddenly stopped and began reversing and tried to ram the police vehicle before driving off at speed again.

“As Pritchard went through temporary red lights, a [police] stinger was deployed. It deflated the Suzuki’s tyres and brought the 141-mile pursuit to an end.”

The court heard that Pritchard immediately admitted he did not have a driving licence or any insurance but claimed he had no knowledge of the vehicle having cloned number plates.

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