Portsmouth motoring menace 'lucky' not to cause crash during police chase to Havant is jailed

A DRIVER who was ‘lucky’ not to cause a crash after a police chase that saw him speed on the wrong side of the road, mount pavements and accelerate through red lights was jailed.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 1:56 pm

Motoring menace John Ansell, 52, tried to evade officers in a BMW when he was followed on September 21 last year around 8pm on Queen Street, Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Ansell began his quest to avoid capture after one of his passengers revealed he had a large amount of cannabis on him – only to later discover it was just a small quantity.

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Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: Chris Moorhouse

As police put blue flashing lights on and requested Ansell to stop, the defendant opted to accelerate away before ending up on Bedhampton Road, Havant.

‘He was accelerating on the wrong side of the road. Fortunately there were no oncoming vehicles,’ prosecutor Siobhan Lynsley said.

‘He was travelling at 50mph in a 30mph zone and went through red lights and over a roundabout at excessive speed.’

Ansell ended up on Hulbert Road before he pulled over and was arrested by police.

Tom Nicholson, defending, said Ansell was lonely and living in a car at the time of the offence after his 20-year marriage had broken up.

Explaining why he sped off from police, the barrister added: ‘(Ansell) picked up two friends in the car and was told by one of them he had cannabis on him. The driving was a reaction to that.

‘He did not want to be caught with a large amount of drugs in the car.’

But unfortunately for Ansell, it transpired the friend only had a ‘small amount’ of cannabis on him.

The court heard Ansell had a ‘chaotic life’.

Ansell, of Ernest Road, Buckland, admitted a charge of dangerous driving.

Judge Timothy Mousley QC said the driving was appalling with Ansell not sparing a thought for ‘anyone else on the road but for yourself’.

He said: ‘You drove through red lights and went on pavement and drove on the wrong side of the road.

‘You drove at speed in a residential area with narrow roads where there were parked vehicles. It was lucky you did not collide with anyone.’

The judge added: ‘The level of danger presented that evening showed a flagrant disregard to the safety of others.’

Ansell was locked-up for 10 months and handed a 26-month driving ban and will have to take an extended test to get a licence.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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