Fishy tale of driver in car chase

A MAN who claimed he had been miles away night fishing has been found guilty of dangerous driving. It followed a high speed chase by a policeman who had seen John Hughes driving his van through Biggleswade town centre. The 31-year-old had claimed it could

A MAN who claimed he had been miles away night fishing has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

It followed a high speed chase by a policeman who had seen John Hughes driving his van through Biggleswade town centre.

The 31-year-old had claimed it couldn't have been him behind the wheel because at the time of the chase from Biggleswade to Potton he was night fishing in Ely, Cambs.

Hughes, of Murfitts Way, Gamlingay, had pleaded not guilty at Luton Crown Court to a charge of dangerous driving but was convicted last Thursday. Sentence was adjourned for the preparation of reports.

Pc Chris Sutton told how at around 11.15pm on the night of November 13, 2006 he was in his patrol car parked in Market Square, Biggleswade.

He said he was suddenly aware of a silver Fiat Punto van speeding through the town in a 20mph zone.

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He decided to stop the vehicle and activated his blue flashing lights and siren as he gave chase.

The court was told the driver of the van ignored the request to stop and drove off at speed out of Biggleswade.

Pc Sutton said the van was travelling at between 60 and 70mph in a 30mph zone. It touched 90mph as it sped along the road, crossing the white lines.

At a point known locally as Murder Bend, which he described as "not a particularly nice bend", the van took it at high speed and ended up on the wrong side of the road.

The van entered Potton before heading out on Common Road. Pc Sutton said as the van approached the entrance to the travellers' site, it slowed, the driver's door opened and the driver leapt from the car while it was still moving.

"He stumbled and fell to the ground. I was at this point about 15 metres from the rear of the vehicle," said Pc Sutton, adding that the man was now illuminated in the police car's headlights.

"He was looking directly at me and it was at this time I could put a name to the face of the man looking at me."

He said it was the defendant John Hughes who allegedly then ran off, disappearing over a bank.

Hughes was eventually arrested 17 days later.

He told police he had sold the van during the early part of that month to a family on the travellers' site.

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