A criminal rammed a police car several times and then led officers on a high-speed pursuit through Cambridgeshire in a bid to escape.
Paul Dei-Rossi, 31, was driving a white Ford Transit van along Cambridge Road in Newton, at about 5.15pm on July 31, 2017, when police officers on patrol passed in the opposite direction.
The automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) on the police car picked out Dei-Rossi as a potential disqualified driver and the officers turned around.
On seeing the blue lights, Dei-Rossi made off but then slowed down, allowing the police car, a new Land Rover Discovery, to pull in front of him.
He then mounted a grass verge, pulled alongside the police car and drove into its side before making off at speed.
Dei-Rossi rammed the police car several times again during the pursuit, causing more than £17,000 of damage, mainly around the driver’s door and the engine. The pursuit continued into Little Shelford and Great Shelford and then into Wollards Lane and High Street where the van turned into the car park of the recreation ground.
Dei-Rossi and another man, Alex Winsor, 33, abandoned the van and made off on foot.
Winsor, of Hills Road, Cambridge, was arrested nearby and Dei-Rossi, who had left a bank card in the van, was arrested the following day. Investigations also discovered CCTV which showed Dei-Rossi making off from the van.
On Tuesday (29 May) Dei-Rossi, of Calvin Close, Cottenham, was jailed for two years and three months and disqualified from driving for six years at Cambridge Crown Court after admitting dangerous driving, criminal damage and driving whilst disqualified.
Winsor admitted possessing cannabis and cocaine and was fined a total of £200.
DC Martyn Willis, who investigated, said: “Dei-Rossi could have stopped straight away for the officers but chose, instead, to do everything he could to get away, putting the officers and other members of the public at risk.
“The police vehicle was new on the road and the damage caused was extensive, which the judge clearly took a very dim view of.”