One-legged driver led police on 24-mile 'low-speed' chase

Publisher: Jon Land
Published: 04/04/2006 - 14:14:29 PM

A car crash
A car crash

A one-legged, 60-year-old woman has been convicted of dangerous driving after leading police on a 24 mile chase - despite never breaking the speed limit, police said today.

Sandra Siddle, of Miller Drive, Fareham, Hants, was yesterday found guilty by a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court of dangerous driving.

The trial heard that during the chase on March 24 last year, Siddle was followed by several police cars and a police spotter plane as she ran through red lights, overtook cars on dangerous bends and mounted the kerb.

She even continued despite her front two tyres being punctured by a police stinger.

The pursuit only came to a stop when Siddle lost control and crashed into a lamppost on the A32 near Chawton, rolled over and burst into flames, the court heard.

The chase began when Siddle drove her Vauxhall Corsa at Pc Caroline Webster outside the Osborn mental health centre in Osborn Road, Fareham, where she was a patient.

Siddle had previously admitted in court a charge of harassment and another of common assault against staff at the Osborn Centre.

Pc Simon Clacey, from Fareham traffic police, said Siddle was not the usual suspect for a driving offence.

He said: "It's not the normal run-of-the-mill to have a 60-year-old woman with a disability involved in a fail to stop - this wasn't the stereotypical case, people think of teenagers as responsible for this type of offence."

He added: "The most important thing for us was to ensure that other road users were not put at risk.

"Because of the speed she was going we were able to maintain the pursuit and ensure she was brought to a stop without endangering anyone else.

"Having said that, it is extremely lucky that Siddle's dangerous driving did not cause any injuries or even a death on the road that day."

The case was adjourned for sentencing on May 12.

Copyright Press Association 2006.