Car salesman stopped for drink-driving ran off from police - who scrambled a helicopter to catch him

A police helicopter was scrambled to find Daniel Harding who ran off from traffic officers - he was later caught after going to A&E
A police helicopter was scrambled to find Daniel Harding who ran off from traffic officers - he was later caught after going to A&E
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A SPEEDING car salesman who ran off from police was caught after injuring his hand scaling a fence to escape, a court heard.

Daniel Harding, 28, was spotted driving at ‘excessive speed’ in The Thicket, Portchester, and was followed by police.

But when Harding, of Tamar Close, Fareham, was asked to take a breath test in a nearby street he sprinted off forcing police to scramble a helicopter, magistrates heard.

He was only caught after being admitted to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham later the same day, on October 30 last year.

The court heard Harding, who said he was ‘scared’, had tried to scale a fence and injured his hand.

Prosecutor Alicia Keen said: ‘A Volkswagen Golf was followed in The Thicket, Portchester, due to excessive speed.

‘It was located parked in Winnham Drive on the drive.

‘Mr Harding got out the car and admitted to having been drinking and driving.

‘He was required to provide a road-side specimen for police.

‘He failed to complete the road-side test, it appears that he ran off.’

She added: ‘Mr Harding removed himself from the area so he’d failed to comply with the test.’

The prosecutor said a police helicopter was called to try and track him.

‘There was excessive speed and having passengers in the car,’ she added.

Harding was traced after being admitted to A&E later in the evening.

He had injured his hand after ‘scaling a fence’ when he ran off, she said.

District judge Anne Arnold imposed a £300 fine with £30 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

The judge imposed four points on his licence. He already has three for speeding.

Harding admitted failing to co-operate with a preliminary test.

Police had spotted a child in an improperly fastened car seat in the back of the Volkswagen.

But Harding’s lawyer said Harding did not have the child as a passenger and people had arrived afterwards and put the child in.

Andrew Coley, defending, said: ‘He recognises he shouldn’t have run off.

‘He accepted at the scene he’d had a couple of drinks.

‘He was concerned, particularly at being stopped by police, in relation to a domestic matter a month or two before.

‘He was scared and ran off.’