Essex boy racer escapes jail over 120mph police chase on M1 near Northampton

Teenager had no licence when he crashed Ford Focus going wrong way round Crick roundabout

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 9:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 9:24 am

An Essex boy racer with no driving licence crashed his hot hatch into a roundabout following a 120mph police chase at 2am on the M1 near Northampton.

Armed Police were scrambled when a Volkswagen Golf pinged ANPR cameras in connection with a Metropolitan Police marker on it.

Northampton Crown Court heard the VW pulled into Watford Gap Services but a Ford Focus Zetec travelling in convoy kept going, weaving in and out of traffic at speeds of up to 120mph between junction 17 and 18 on the motorway.

Roche cut across three lanes of the M1 at 100mph in a bid to escape from police

Prosecuting, Samuel Lowne added the vehcile finally cut across three lanes to exit at junction 18, still travelling at 100mph, before going the wrong way around the A428 roundabout near Crick and smashing into a road sign.

Dantay Roche was just 18 at the time and had never passed a driving test.

Mitigating, Justin Rivett told Northampton Crown Court the teenager had panicked.

He added that Roche had been asked to drive because the group he was with could not all fit in one car.

Mr Rivett said"He was not driving dangerously up to the point police came on the scene.

"He panicked and was going too fast to pull off into the service area so overshot it."

Roche, of Tine Road, Chigwell, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving with no licence or insurance when he appeared before magistrates in February and sent for sentencing at Crown Court.

Judge David Herbert told Roche, now 19, he could not have complained at being jailed over the incident on October 6 last year.

He added: "You were on the verge of being out of control and posed a considerable risk to other traffic users and other people in the car with you.

"This is your first offence and you have jumped in at the deep end by coming to Crown Court.

"Taking that fact and your age into consideration I am giving you a suspended sentence."

Roche's eight-month sentence was suspended for 21 months.

He was also disqualified from holding a driving licence for 12 months and will also spend the next four months wearing an electronic tag enforcing a night-time curfew between 7pm and 6am.