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  1. ITV Report

Man driving stolen tractor leads police on a chase through Derbyshire

Scott Thorpe entered an Ilkeston building site and smashed his way out using the tractor. Credit: BPM Media

A man who led police on a 15mph chase through Derbyshire while driving a stolen eight-tonne tractor has been jailed for two years.

Scott Thorpe entered an Ilkeston building site and smashed his way out using the tractor.

Residents hearing the commotion alerted the site owner and the police and the pursuit towards the M1 began.

CCTV footage, played at Derby Crown Court, showed part of the 12-mile chase which lasted almost an hour in total.

During it, the 34-year-old forced oncoming vehicles to swerve to avoid a collision crossed white lines and ignored traffic signals.

Towards the end of the pursuit, officers used their “stinger” device in an attempt to burst the tractor's tyres.

But Thorpe managed to evade it. He swerved the vehicle and narrowly avoided crashing into a bridge that could have sent him and the vehicle plummeting on to the motorway.

He then jumped out of the tractor which carried on moving and attempted to run away and hide. But he was chased and caught by a police dog and arrested.

Jailing Thorpe for two years, the judge said:

You caused a really high risk of someone being caused really serious injuries because of the size of the vehicle.

It was a JCB telehandler, weighing something between six and eight tonnes which you had stolen.

The speed might have been slow but this went on for 12 miles and, at one point, you swerve to avoid the stinger on a bridge over the M1.

Goodness knows what would have happened of you had gone through the fence.

– Judge Philip Wassall