Shocking footage shows unlicensed Copthorne driver reach 70mph in 30mph Brighton zone amid police chase

Shocking footage released by police shows an unlicensed and uninsured driver reach speeds of 70mph in a 30mph zone amid a police pursuit.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 1:31 pm
A still image from the video footage shared by police
A still image from the video footage shared by police

Andrew Smith, 22, unemployed, of Burstow Gardens, Copthorne, has now been convicted in court.

Officers on patrol in Brighton on the evening of 5 September 2020 spotted a black Honda CRV which had a marker as potentially being driven without the owner’s consent.

They indicated for the vehicle to pull over, at which point it accelerated away from them, police said.

A pursuit ensued, during which time the driver reached speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph zone, contravened red lights and junctions, and travelled on the wrong side of the road at various points – including an on-slip to the A27 at Hollingbury, where tactical contact was made to bring it to a stop.

The driver was identified as Andrew Smith, police said.

It transpired he had taken his mother’s vehicle without her consent.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving; aggravated vehicle taking including dangerous driving; driving without a licence; driving without insurance; and failing to stop when required by police, a spokesman said.

He pleaded guilty to all five offences and at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday 6 April, he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, confirmed police.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years and given a three-month curfew with electronic tag.

Arresting officer, Sergeant Colin Bowden, said: “The manner of Smith’s driving was reckless, ridiculous and completely irresponsible.

“He showed absolutely no regard for the safety of himself or other road users, taking significant risks in an attempt to get away from us.

“This case should serve as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will continue to work with our colleagues, partners and the community to take action against those who misuse our roads.”