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Police in five mile car chase with teenager

PUBLISHED: 14:26 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 August 2010

A YOUTH involved in a five-mile high speed chase with police has been found guilty of aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

A YOUTH involved in a five-mile high speed chase with police has been found guilty of aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, pleaded not guilty at Bromley Youth Court last Friday, insisting that he had swapped seats with his 18-year-old friend during the chase but he failed to convince the three magistrates.

During the pursuit on January 7, a police car hit a 64-year-old teacher, breaking her leg which remains in plaster.

The car, a black Citroen worth £3,500, was reported stolen from Carcraft car dealership in Thurrock, Essex in November last year but had since had its registration plated changed.

On the morning of January 7, police officers had been patrolling the Downham estate and spotted the car with two youths in it.

A check revealed it had no insurance and police began the five mile pursuit. Throughout the chase the car exceeded speeds of 70mph through residential roads, past schools and a busy commuter train station.

At one point the defendant drove straight across a junction without stopping.

Police Constable Wetherell, who led the pursuit, said: "If there had been a car coming we wouldn't be standing here today. We would be in the coroner's court."

The car ended up in Downs Road, Beckenham, coming to a halt after spinning out of control. The court was shown video evidence of the chase from a camera attached to the police car.

Officers smashed the windscreen and side windows of the Citroen, fearing the youths may try to drive at them which resulted in a head injury for the passenger.

The youth claimed that he was only the driver for the last few yards of the chase but three police officers gave evidence to the contrary.

Upon the guilty verdict, Magistrate Julie Tomlins, said: "The evidence of the officers was credible. There is no doubt the driving was dangerous."

He will return to Bromley Youth Court for sentencing on March 18.

* The youth was due to return to court on Tuesday after being charged with a public order offence last Friday.

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