Man in 100mph police chase jailed

Mugshot of Robin Freeman
Robin Freeman was chased at 100mph by police on the M5 through east Devon [Devon & Cornwall Police]

A man from Devon has been jailed for dangerous driving after speeding with his lights off to evade capture.

Robin Freeman, of Paignton, was chased at 100mph (160km/h) by police on the M5 through east Devon and carried on driving on just his wheel rims at 70mph (110km/h) after police burst his tyres, until officers could box him in and stop him.

The incident took place at 06:00 GMT on 8 March last year while a yellow weather warning for ice was in place.

At Exeter Crown Court, the 30-year-old was jailed for 12 months by Judge James Adkin for dangerous driving and being in possession of illegal drugs, as well as being banned from driving for a year after his release.

'Extremely dangerous'

Freeman had claimed he had been driving erratically because he had been rolling a cigarette while phoning his wife, but police later found two small pots of crack cocaine in his rucksack.

Judge Adkin told Freeman: “You drove at 100mph and turned the lights off to seek to make it more difficult for the police to follow you, and continued driving at 60 to 70mph with the tyres deflated.

“On any scale, it was a persistent and extremely dangerous police chase.

"The combination of the road conditions, the grossly excessive speed, turning lights off and continuing to drive after the stinger [police vehicle immobilising device] was deployed mean appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.”

Francesca Whebell, defending, said Freeman "has made great progress in the 15 months since this incident and is receiving more help with issues of drug abuse and mental health".

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