Pair jailed after police chase in Norfolk maize field ends in fatality

A man has been jailed for 12 years following a fatal crash involving a police pursuit through a maize field.

A stolen Land Rover crashed into a Nissan Juke at Earsham in Norfolk on 13 August, killing Aisatou Mballow-Baldeh, 28, from Lowestoft in Suffolk.

Marcin Jablonski, 44, tried to escape from police through the field before driving back on to the A143 and hitting the other car.

He admitted causing death by dangerous driving and other offences.

Also appearing at Norwich Crown Court was his son, Thomaz Urbaniak.

The 26-year-old, from Newmarket, was a passenger in the stolen car at the time of the crash and was jailed for two years after admitting aggravated vehicle taking and burglary of a commercial premises.

The court heard how the car, which had been stolen from Newmarket, had failed to stop for officers earlier in the day and was being chased by police cars and a police helicopter along the A143.

Jablonski, from Carlton Colville near Lowestoft, drove it off the road near Bungay and into a field of 6ft (1.83m)-high maize.

Police drove into the field, but did not pursue the car through the crops.

Thomaz Urbaniak and Marcin Jablonski in police "mug shots"
Marcin Jablonski (right) and his son Thomaz Urbaniak were jailed for 12 and two years respectively

After driving back on to the road, Jablonski lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the Nissan travelling in the opposite direction.

Ms Mballow-Baldeh, who was driving it, died at the scene.

The court heard Jablonski was at least twice over the legal drink-drive limit and had already been disqualified from driving.

DNA evidence showed Urbaniak had been present at the burglary during which the keys to the Land Rover were stolen.

Det Insp David McCormack wearing a suit outside Norwich Crown Court
Det Insp David McCormack from Norfolk Police said the drive through the maize field was like "something out of Hollywood"

The senior investigating officer Det Insp David McCormack welcomed the sentences and said the chase through the maize field was "almost something out of Hollywood - it wasn't just a few metres, they drove a good one or two kilometres in the field, causing a significant amount of damage to the maize."

He said that Ms Baldeh's family had experienced a "real tragic loss - they're angry".

"They're happy with the sentence that was delivered today, but that sentence is never going to be enough to bring Aisa back," he said.

As a police chase was involved, the case was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which is conducting an independent investigation.

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