UK News Dad-of-two sparked 60mph police chase after ducking in driver seat as he passed patrol car

17:05  20 february  2020
17:05  20 february  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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a car parked on the side of a road: Karl Holland accelerated away from police in Western Drive, Gabalfa, Cardiff © Google Karl Holland accelerated away from police in Western Drive, Gabalfa, Cardiff

A dad-of-two with a responsible job who had no previous convictions caught a police officer’s attention by ducking down as he drove past him.

Karl Holland had a bag of cannabis in his car and did not want the police to find it but made the situation much worse for himself by driving off.

Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court his advocate Tim Petrides accepted: “It was foolish beyond belief.”

The court heard the pursuit happened in the Gabalfa area of Cardiff on January 12. Tony Trigg, prosecuting, said the defendant was driving a Suzuki Swift and ducked when he saw a police officer as he did not want to be caught with cannabis.

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The officer signalled for him to pull over but Holland failed to stop, instead accelerating away along Western Drive, Gabalfa Avenue, and Aberporth Road.

Prosecutors said he hit 60mph in a 30mph restriction and sped straight across a junction without stopping. The court heard Holland “prevaricated” when he was arrested but pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Holland, 28, from St Fagans Road in Fairwater, admitted failing to stop, dangerous driving and possessing cannabis.

Mr Petrides said: “It is an incredible incident. This was over a bag of cannabis. He could not have made himself more obvious.”

He accepted the driving was “appalling”, adding: “Mercifully no-one was hurt.”

Mr Petrides said his client, who has two children, had been using cannabis for a number of years but had never been to court before and had a responsible job as a yard manager in Whitchurch.

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The court heard the “reckless pursuit” ended about half a mile away from his place of work. Mr Petrides said it was “ridiculous” but Holland had the common sense to stop.

He asked for any prison sentence to be suspended, not immediate, and told the judge he would not see the defendant before the courts again if he gave him a chance.

Judge David Wynn Morgan told Holland if he had not driven off he may have received a caution for possessing cannabis instead of ending up before the crown court for more serious offences.

He said the defendant was not helping himself by continuing to use cannabis, which he stressed is a controlled drug and not “recreational”.

Judge Wynn Morgan said: “What you did was completely disgraceful. It is miraculous no-one was hurt.”

Holland was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work plus 10 days of a rehabilitation activity to target his drug abuse.

He was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay a £149 victim surcharge.

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