Danger driver’s boast to police after car chase

Mark Reilly sped off when approached by police
Mark Reilly sped off when approached by police
General manager at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth, 

John Alderson, pictured when the club's two historical visitors books were returned

Theft charge dismissed as mystery of stolen books signed by Queen Victoria goes on

  • Danger driver crashed into car on narrow road and forced it backwards in escape bid
  • Mark Reilly sparked police chase after being approached by an officer over throwing glass bottles
  • Now a judge has jailed the 22-year-old jailed for 18 months
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A DANGEROUS driver who crashed into cars as he sped away from police told officers: ‘I bet you enjoyed that chase, didn’t you?’

Mark Reilly, 22, of Freshwater Road, Cosham, careered through the streets of Portsmouth after he was approached by police for throwing glass bottles out his car.

t was only good fortune that somebody wasn’t seriously injured or killed

Judge Roger Hetherington

At one point Reilly drove down a narrow street and pushed an oncoming car backwards when there was not enough room.

He was only stopped when a police officer smashed the driver’s side window of Reilly’s Mazda and took the keys out of the ignition when he had slowed down.

Reilly sparked the police chase on October 24, just days before he was due to appear before a judge for two unrelated charges of passing counterfeit Scottish notes.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, told Portsmouth Crown Court that police chased Reilly when he sped off as an officer approached him about the bottles. He was then spotted in a one-way road as police were driving in Ringwood Road, Eastney.

‘The defendant put the car into reverse at what officers described as ridiculous speed,’ he said.

‘He’s now driving in the right direction but backwards.’

Reilly was spotted again driving at ‘excessive speed’, taking a turn and leaning over so that the car was unstable.

The police pursued him along Eastney Road, Mr Sawyer said, adding: ‘The Mazda was going at speeds approaching 60 in a 30 limit, overtaking vehicles and causing at least two vehicles in oncoming lanes to take evasive action.

‘He then turned left into Goldsmith Avenue and left again to approach Talbot Road, again going the wrong way down a one-way street, and came across a vehicle driving correctly.

‘He got around that, mounting the curb and bursting two offside tyres.’

At this point Reilly was travelling at 30 to 40 miles an hour.

He turned on to a two-way road with space for one car and was met with an oncoming Toyota.

But instead of waiting he tried to squeeze his car between the Toyota and a parked car – all while the terrified occupants looked on in horror.

‘The defendant drove his car into their car, trying to push them back out the way, banging his car into one of the parked cars,’ Mr Sawyer said.

‘At that point the officer managed to jump out and bang on the window. The defendant continued to rev the engine and continue forward.

‘The officer at that point had had enough, broke the driver’s side window and took the keys out. The female passenger got out and started remonstrating with the officer.’

Reilly, who was jailed for 18 months, threw a hairband towards the public gallery as he was sent down.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with no insurance and driving while disqualified. He also admitted two counts of passing counterfeit notes in Lymington and Southsea dating back to March and February.

Sentencing, Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘It was only good fortune that somebody wasn’t seriously injured or killed.’

Reilly was also banned from driving for three years.