DRAMATIC VIDEO: Police chase through streets
A criminal “kingpin” heading for a new life sparked a 20-minute “high risk” police chase which led to the force helicopter being scrambled and ended with him ramming a patrol car and injuring an officer, a court heard.
Burnley Crown Court was told how, during the pursuit in the dark, Munir Hussain, who did not have his lights on and was banned from the road, went on the wrong side of the road and up a dual carriageway the wrong way.
He finally came to a halt crashing into the police car after a stinger was put down. The officer inside had desperately tried to climb into the passenger seat to escape the impact.
The hearing was told the incident, filmed from the sky and the following police BMW, started because the police were being helpful, trying to tell Hussain his lights weren’t on.
He made off as he did not want to get caught for being disqualified and uninsured, but got himself into even deeper trouble after the chase, when he was suspected of drink driving.
Hussain, a convicted heroin dealer, who had been disqualified for excess alcohol, has a long criminal record. The defendant, known as “Manny” has persistently flouted driving laws and has been described in the past by police as a “kingpin” of the criminal community.
The hearing was told at the time, he had been sleeping in a car and had been heading for a new start in Manchester in his old Transit van, hoping to put his life of crime behind him. But, he is now back behind bars, this time for 10 months. He was also banned for three years and must take an extended driving test.
The defendant, of Burnley Road, Brierfield, who appeared in court the day before his 34th birthday, admitted driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen and no insurance and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.
Prosecutor Emma Kehoe said, just after 9pm, on January 24th, the attention of police was drawn to the van as it had no headlights on.
The officers, in a marked BMW X5, turned round to catch up Hussain and tell him about his lights were not on.
Miss Kehoe said police took up a following position behind the van, which appeared to accelerate away. They noted its registration number and lit their blue lights, indicating they wanted the driver to stop. Hussain did not stop, refused to co-operate and a chase then took place which lasted 20 minutes, over a considerable distance and which police described as “high risk.”
The prosecutor continued: “Such was their concern, the police helicopter was deployed.” Two sets of CCTV footage were taken, one from the BMW and one from the helicopter.
Miss Kehoe said : “The vehicle is seen, during the course of the pursuit, travelling onto the wrong side of the carriageway, travelling the wrong way up a dual carriageway at one point and on many narrow residential streets. The vehicle is seen mounting pavements. The speeds vary. At some points the vehicle is travelling slowly, at other times it accelerates to beyond the speed limit. What is consistent throughout is it’s clear from the footage the van is well aware it is being followed by the police. It refuses to stop for 20 minutes and in fact the only way the van is stopped is because a stinger is used. The defendant drove away and crashed into the police car, which was stationary.”
The prosecutor continued: “The officer is adamant he felt Mr Hussain’s vehicle was driven at the police vehicle on purpose. It’s clear the officer did feel that was the case as he describes himself as being terrified. He tries to get from the driver’s seat to the passenger side, as the van is coming towards the driver’s side, but is not able to do that because of the speed of the van. It then collides into the door of the police vehicle.
“He says he suffered whiplash as a result and had to go to the urgent care department.”
Miss Kehoe said when Hussain was arrested, he smelled of alcohol, but failed to provide a breath test. He had been banned for 41 months by magistrates for drink driving in June 2013.
The court was told Hussain had more than 60 offences on his record. Miss Kehoe continued: “He has a lot of motoring convictions on his record. He appears to drive regularly without being insured, has a number of previous convictions for resisting or obstructing police, he doesn’t appear to attend court when he is bailed to do so and he does also breach orders.
“He has previous convictions for driving while disqualified and has a substantial conviction for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs in 2009, when he was sent to custody for five years and 219 days.”
Mr Richard Taylor, defending Hussain, said: “This offence was borne out of frustration and desperation. At the time he had nowhere to live and was sleeping in the back of a car. He had a new relationship with a girlfriend, who is in court and is supportive of him, and was determined to finish his old life of many drugs offences, drink offences and start a new life in Manchester. Unfortunately, his means of doing that was flawed. He used a fairly elderly van and took a considerable risk in going to Manchester.”
Mr Taylor continued: “He was thwarted because police tried to stop him and he made the stupid decision that rather than stop and face charges of driving while disqualified and no insurance, he would attempt to drive off, make some space between him and the police, abandon the vehicle and try to get away. That plan was always likely to fail, given the fact he was in a fairly elderly van.” The solicitor added: “It was a lengthy chase, but his speed was rarely above 30mph.”
Mr Taylor told the hearing: “He’s going to have to start all over again. He will celebrate his 34th birthday tomorrow and is hoping on his release he will be somewhat wiser. He intends, as he has done in the past, to make the most of his time in custody.”
Sentencing, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: “The problem with offences of this nature is that, although, fortunately in this case nobody suffered serious injury, the fact of the matter is when driving of this nature occurs it’s very easy for people to become a victim when they don’t realise there is somebody dangerous coming along the road.”
The judge told Hussain: “You have persistently driven whilst disqualified and flagrantly breached previous court orders.”
Want to see the full route that Hussain took as he tried to avoid police? Here’s the link: www.burnleyexpress.net/news/police-chase-video-the-full-route-1-7147031