February 4, 2021 5.14 pm This story is over 33 months old

Man jailed after ‘test drive’ ended up with 75-mile police chase

He also went the wrong way around two roundabouts

A man involved in a 75-mile police pursuit after driving off in a test drive car has been jailed for a year.

Richard Cross spotted the Nissan Almera on sale at Stamp End Motors in the Monks Road area of Lincoln and arranged to take it for a test drive in December 2020.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, told the court: “He said to the proprietor that he wanted to test the gearbox. He drove away onto Monks Road and went off in the car.”

Cross was seen later in the vehicle “careering around” Riseholme Road in Lincoln. He failed to stop for police and set off driving north.

Mr Philo said: “He went eventually right up to Grimsby then back down the A18 ending up in Skegness. He drove for 75 miles.”

Both Lincolnshire and Humberside Police officers were involved in attempting to stop Cross.

During the journey he drove erratically, straddling the centre of the road, and at one point switched his headlights off and continued driving despite the fact that the night was foggy.

He also went the wrong way around two roundabouts, ignored a red light and was speeding during the journey.

The pursuit eventually came to an end in Skegness and Cross was arrested.

Cross, 43, of Breedon Drive, Lincoln, admitted aggravated vehicle taking as a result of the incident on December 7, 2020 together with driving without insurance and failing to stop.

He also admitted destroying a police document while being dealt with at the police station.

In addition, he admitted threatening behaviour and possession of cannabis as a result of a separate incident at his former home in Newark.

Cross was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from driving for two years. He was ordered to pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “This was a persistent and determined piece of dangerous driving.

“You were engaged in a police chase for one and a quarter hours all the way from Lincoln to Skegness via Grimsby. One of the police officers took the view that you were trying to get the police to give up the chase.”

David Eager, in mitigation, told the court: “His reasons for not stopping for the police are that in the week or two before this happened Mr Cross was arrested at least three times by police, kept in custody then produced before the court and released.

“This was because Nottinghamshire Police had put a marker on the fact that he was wanted in that county. Lincolnshire Police arrested him but did not remove the marker.

“He should have stopped on this occasion. He knows he should have stopped, but he had such a sense of grievance.

“This happened because he went through a period of madness. It was a complete madness for a few weeks.”

Mr Eager urged the judge to take into account the fact that Cross had stayed out of trouble for six years before committing the offences.