Man with more than 100 criminal offences jailed after high-speed police pursuit

A dangerous driver with no licence or insurance has been jailed after a high speed pursuit ended with police pinning his vehicle against a tree in a caravan park.

Attention was first drawn to 48-year-old John Michael Hull after a Ford Fiesta was seen on Eden Street in Silloth on the evening of 18 August.

It had a defective brake light and was travelling in excess of the speed limit.

An officer activated emergency equipment in a bid to stop driver Hull but he instead motored away. 

He overtook other road users as he led officers on a pursuit through narrow residential streets, off road and then into a caravan park.

“The weather conditions were poor. It was raining heavily,” prosecutor Daniel Bramhall told Carlisle Crown Court today (22 September).

Hull turned the Fiesta’s lights off as the chase continued through the park, crashed into the disabled ramp of one property, damaged plant pots and carried out a U-turn when confronted with a dead end. 

“Eventually the police were able to pin the defendant and his vehicle into a large tree,” said Mr Bramhall.

Some £1,000 damage was caused to the patrol vehicle. Hull was arrested and it transpired there had been a passenger inside the Fiesta.

After the pursuit, which lasted around 10 minutes, Hull admitted dangerous driving, and having neither a licence nor insurance, during an initial magistrates’ court hearing.

Hull, of Raffles Avenue, Carlisle, was said to have 101 previous offences on a criminal record which started in 1987.

Andrew Gurney, for Hull, said the defendant had been affected by poor health and suffered a heart attack two months before the Silloth pursuit.

Treatment had been delayed due to the latest criminal proceedings and there were difficulties with healthcare while he was remanded in custody.

Hull had  “panicked” after making a “stupid” decision to take the wheel because his friend couldn’t drive. “He takes full responsibility for his actions and does show remorse,” said Mr Gurney.

But Recorder Eric Lamb, noting that Hull had failed to take chances offered by courts in the past, imposed an immediate 12-month prison sentence.

Hull must serve a two-year driving ban when released from custody, and take an extended test before obtaining a licence.

“This was a decision to ignore the rules of the road and disregard the risk and danger caused to others,” said the judge.

“The driving itself was prolonged, persistent and deliberate. The manoeuvres that you carried out were obviously highly dangerous.”

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