Crook takes police helicopter and four cars on 15mph low-speed chase after fleeing on a MOPED

February 27, 2013 | by | 0 Comments
Moped driver James Phillips opens the door to our photographer in his boxer shorts

Moped driver James Phillips opens the door to our photographer in his boxer shorts

A disqualified driver led police on a low-speed ‘chase’ when he tried to outrun a helicopter and four patrol cars – on A moped.

James Phillips reached speeds of 15 mph as he ‘sped’ through a housing estate on his 50cc Piaggio.

He continued on his futile journey for more than a mile, slowing for speed bumps – but mounted pavements and swerved dangerously in front of cars.

The chopper crew above Phillips gave a running commentary on his progress and at one point reported: “Speed is fifteen – one-five miles an hour.”

Two patrol cars also tailed him with their sirens blaring as Phillips continued on his leisurely afternoon tour of the Bristol suburb.

At one stage a large man tried to punch Phillips off his bike but narrowly missed him.

Phillips carried on for several minutes until he gave up and realised his underpowered £200 machine stood no chance of escape.

The undramatic trip ended when he pulled onto a pavement as two more patrol cars dashed to the scene.

Phillips, 22, was arrested for driving while disqualified and without insurance and dangerous driving.

He admitted the offences as his barrister said it was more a case of stupid driving than dangerous driving.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Phillips, a roofer, ‘panicked’ when he saw police and decided to ride off.

Phillips may have thought he was in a scene from the French Connection but his chance of outrunning the police on this 50cc machine was zero

Phillips may have thought he was in a scene from the French Connection but his chance of outrunning the police on this 50cc machine was zero

Police surround Phillips after his attempted getaway ends

Police surround Phillips after his attempted getaway ends

The footage from the police helicopter was played to the court and showed him reaching a giddy maximum speed of nearly 30mph.

Farah Rashid, defending, said: “He panicked and behaved in a really stupid way.

“He was going to get caught. There was no excessive speed. It was only a matter of time that police would arrest him and he stopped voluntarily after some distance.

“It was, perhaps, more stupid than dangerous under the circumstances.”

The court heard Phillips, of Southmead, had a previous conviction for dangerous driving when he drove a car from a burglary, from which others hurled bottles at police.

He was given a nine-month jail term suspended for 18 months and told to do 100 hours of unpaid work and undergo a thinking skills programme.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years, ordered to take an extended driving test and pay a victim surcharge of £100.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told him: “You are 22 and you’ve clearly made a nuisance of yourself quite a lot in the past.

“You drove dangerously, without insurance, when disqualified.

“You don’t need me to tell you it deserves a prison sentence. I have decided to suspend that sentence.

“It looks to me as though you are growing up. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

“You are 22, you have responsibilities, a partner, a child, you have done courses and you work.”

After the case one officer said: “You normally expect a bit of drama when the helicopter’s up and you hear there’s a chase on.

“But this was more like a guided tour. On that moped he was going nowhere fast.”

Tattooed thug Phillips told SWNS today how he led police on possibly the worst car chase in history.

Speaking outside his red-brick terraced home, Phillips said: “It was a stupid mistake, boss, that’s all.

“I don’t know what I was thinking really. I would not do it again – I didn’t even think I would get away from them.”

A heavily-modified Vauxhall Astra sits on the drive outside the home he shares with his partner and baby.

The car has a blue metallic paint job, custom bumpers and skirting, and has lowered suspension and black-tinted windows.

There was no sigh of the moped outside Phillips’ home.

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