Baldock A507 joy-rider jailed after being sniffed out by police dog following two-mile pursuit on foot

Police dog Blue, who sniffed out Elroy Samuel after a two-mile track. Picture: Herts police

Police dog Blue, who sniffed out Elroy Samuel after a two-mile track. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

An A507 joy-rider who was sniffed out by a police dog following a two-mile pursuit on foot from Baldock to Stotfold has been jailed for two years.

Peterborough Crown Court, where Elroy Samuel was sentenced.

Peterborough Crown Court, where Elroy Samuel was sentenced. - Credit: Archant

Elroy Samuel, of Boscombe Court in Letchworth, led police on a car chase through Baldock after refusing to stop for patrol officers on the A507 on September 26 last year.

After crashing into another car, the 26-year-old fled on foot for almost an hour before being found by PD Blue and his handler in thick undergrowth near Stotfold.

Samuel was jailed at Peterborough Crown Court at the conclusion of a three-day jury trial on Wednesday last week, with Recorder Jo Boothby sentencing him to two years behind bars.

He was found guilty of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving – having already pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without insurance or a licence, failing to stop after a crash and failing to stop for police.

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Officers patrolling on the A507 at Baldock signalled for Samuel, who was driving a black BMW convertible, to stop at about 4.20pm on the day of the incident.

He ignored this and subsequently crashed into a silver Nissan in Norton Mill Lane, just north of the town, after which he fled on foot. The driver of the other car was not injured.

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Officers pursuing Samuel lost sight of him and requested assistance from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Dog Unit, who sent PD Blue and his handler.

They arrived within 10 minutes, and German shepherd Blue immediately picked up Samuel’s scent.

Blue’s nose led his handler down a footpath and into thick bushes, then across a knee-deep stream.

He continued to track over fences, fields and another stream before finding a jacket thought to belong to the suspect.

The determined canine followed the scent down country lanes and into farmyards before leading his handler towards the A507.

After a track covering two miles and lasting almost an hour, Blue discovered Samuel hiding in thick undergrowth near the road, not far from Stotfold. He was then arrested.

In addition to his jail term, Samuel will also be disqualified from driving for three years, after which he will be required to take a fresh driving test.

Sgt Cray Birch of the BCH Dog Unit said: “This is another great example of how our team supports officers across the three counties in bringing offenders to justice.

“Our dogs and handlers are highly trained and determined, as demonstrated by Blue and his handler’s prolonged tracking. I am very grateful for their work as they proved to be an invaluable asset at this incident.”

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