'Reckless' driver jailed for running red lights and narrowly missing children in 115mph police chase

  • Watch: A police helicopter captured Suyolcu's "reckless actions"

A man who led police on a "reckless" high speed chase in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, narrowly avoiding school children, has been jailed.

Ozgur Suyolcu, 27, who had previously been disqualified from driving, reached speeds in excess of 115mph during the pursuit after officers attempted to stop his vehicle.

The pursuit began when officers from the Tunbridge Wells Community Policing Team attempted to pull over his BMW on 28 January 2022, as part of enquiries into suspected drugs supply offences.

Suyolcu accelerated away, leading the officers on a chase through several residential roads near the town centre.

He ignored several red traffic lights and crossed onto the wrong side of the road in his bid to evade capture.

Two school children were forced to run to safety in St James' Road and his actions led to a collision with a Land Rover in Pembury Road.

Suyolcu ignored several red traffic lights and crossed onto the wrong side of the road in his bid to evade capture. Credit: Kent Police

Officers were assisted by a police helicopter, as Suyolcu headed onto the A21 towards Sevenoaks, before he changed direction and travelled back on the coastbound carriageway.

The vehicle was successfully tracked to an address he had been living at in Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, where Suyolcu was arrested.

A search of the property led to the discovery of knuckle dusters inside a chest of drawers.

Suyolcu was charged with possession of an offensive weapon, dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance or a licence.

He pleaded guilty on 12 January 2023 and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to a year in prison. He has also been banned from driving for five and a half years.

CPT Sergeant Ed Kavanagh said: "Suyolcu drove with complete disregard and contempt for the safety of other road users and his thoughtless and reckless actions could easily have had devastating consequences.

"He used the BMW to drive at staggering speeds in crowded residential areas used by school children making their way home and other drivers had to take quick evasive actions to avoid being struck by his car.

"It is only by luck that no one was seriously injured."