Man jailed after leading police on 30-minute high-speed pursuit through Cambridgeshire Fens

The pursuit came to an end when Shepherds vehicle collided with a telegraph pole
The pursuit came to an end when Shepherds vehicle collided with a telegraph pole

A man who took Cambridgeshire police on a 30-minute pursuit and carried knuckle dusters in his car has been jailed for more than a year.

Freddie Shepherd, 43, of no fixed address, was known to police in connection with unrelated offences and was spotted in his silver Mitsubishi 4 x 4 on 30 March.

JAILED: Freddie Shepherd

JAILED: Freddie Shepherd

An on-duty officer spotted him in Elwyn Road, March, and began to follow him, activating his emergency lights and sirens, however instead of pulling over as directed, Shepherd made off at high speed.

A pursuit commenced around the March area, at one point Shepherd was doing 50mph in a 30mph village, forcing two vehicles off the road.

During the pursuit Shepherd came to a dead end but reversed at high speed, ramming a police dog unit vehicle which was carrying 14-month old Police Dog Kevin. Thankfully neither PD Kevin nor his handler, PC Blake, were injured.

After about half-an-hour, the pursuit came to an end when Shepherd’s vehicle collided with a telegraph pole in Eastwood End, Wimblington.

The pursuit came to an end when Shepherds vehicle collided with a telegraph pole

The pursuit came to an end when Shepherds vehicle collided with a telegraph pole

Shepherd was arrested and was found to have two knuckle dusters and a small knife on him. His passenger, a woman in her late 20s, was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal, and has since been released under investigation.

The pair were both taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn to be treated for minor injuries, but later discharged.

The following day (31 March) Shepherd was charged with dangerous driving, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

He admitted the charges against him and on Friday (8 June) was sentenced to a total of 15 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court. He received 14 months for dangerous driving and one month for each of the offensive weapon charges, to run concurrently. The offensive weapon sentences will run consecutively to the 14 months for dangerous driving.

He has also been disqualified from driving for three years and seven months, must take an extended re-test and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Detective Constable Chris Smith said: “His manner of driving fell far below that of a competent driver and was on a number of occasions very dangerous, ramming a police car, travelling at high speed in a built up area, crossing gardens and failing to stop.

“Shepherd showed a blatant disregard for law enforcement and despite being given multiple opportunities to stop and end the pursuit he continually put people in danger to facilitate his escape and evade been arrested.”