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1st Jul, 2022

Man who led police on high-speed chase around Stratford football pitch then to Solihull jailed

A MAN has been jailed for breaking a court order after leading police on a high-speed chase around a Stratford football pitch and then on to Solihull.

Warwick Crown Court heard that Aaron Pritchard had shown ‘a blatant disregard’ for a former order by repeatedly breaching his curfew and interfering with his electronic tag.

So Judge Andrew Lockhart QC, who said he had been ‘just persuaded’ to pass a six-month suspended sentence in May, ordered Pritchard, age 20 of Common Lane, Sheldon, to serve three months of the sentence.

Prosecutor Ian Speed said that as well as the breaches of the curfew, Pritchard had done only a few of the 100 hours of unpaid work he had been ordered to do.

The court heard that may have been because of health problems caused by a brain injury Pritchard had suffered when he was knocked of his bicycle last year.

Trying to persuade the judge not to impose the sentence, Charles Crinion, defending, said Pritchard was on new medication which was controlling him better.

He pointed out that one of peer group who had been having such an effect on Pritchard is due in court next month charged with kidnapping him and blackmailing his family.

But jailing Pritchard, Judge Lockhart told him: “I fully accept you have some sort of mental health difficulty relating to a head injury, but I took that into account on the last occasion.

“You’ve shown a blatant disregard to the core requirement of the curfew.  You were fit to understand you had to comply with that curfew, but you chose not to.”

During the original hearing the court heard that on March 29 the police had reports of a car being driven by Pritchard in an anti-social manner around a football pitch in Stratford.

The car was seen in Birmingham Road at 8pm, and officers indicated for it to stop, with three police vehicles trying to box him in when he failed to do so.

But he broke free and accelerated through a red light and headed towards Henley and then Solihull.

During the pursuit he reached 80mph, went the wrong way round roundabouts at motorway junctions and through red lights.

Several other vehicles had to take avoiding action.

Eventually, after a pursuit which had covered 15 miles, he turned into a dead-end road where he was boxed in for a second time and arrested.

Pritchard, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, said he had not wanted to be stopped because he was disqualified as a result of driving offences last year.

He had bought the car a few days earlier and hidden it round the corner so his parents would not know he had it.

Imposing the suspended sentence, the judge had told him: “In March you were driving in an anti-social manner.

“Going the wrong way round a roundabout at a motorway junction puts other people, such as your own mother and father, who may have been going the correct way round it, in grave danger.”

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