Essex

Man jailed after stealing rapid response car in Essex

A drunk driver who drove up to 120 mph in a stolen rapid response car in Essex has been jailed for nine months.

Daniel Glover, 28, stole the ambulance in Clacton to get home after a New Year's Eve party, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Glover, from Mile End in east London, drove with blue lights flashing before a "stinger" was used to puncture the car's tyres.

He had admitted aggravated vehicle taking and drink driving earlier.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and obstructing a police officer.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub, jailing Glover, said: "You stole this vehicle on a night of the year when the need for it to preserve life and help the ill and injured was at its greatest."

Michael Fraser, prosecuting, told the court a police officer on patrol spotted the Honda Accord vehicle pulling on to the A12 at Witham just after 01:00 GMT on 1 January.

A helicopter was scrambled and a police chase followed in which Glover drove at speeds of up to 120mph and consistently over 100mph, Mr Fraser told the court.

Driving ban

"At intervals the blue lights were flashing and he straddled the lanes in a careless manner," he said.

"A police stinger was deployed, puncturing the tyres, and he came to a gradual halt."

When he was stopped, Glover smelt of alcohol and told an officer: "I'm going to break your nose."

He was found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit.

In a statement, Glover said: "I didn't know it was an ambulance.

"I was just playing with the equipment and couldn't work out how to turn it off so just kept pressing buttons."

In a statement read to the court, Steven Keating, deputy operations manager for the East of England Ambulance Service, said the theft came at the same time as a fatal incident in Clacton.

While paramedics attended that incident in good time, it meant a less well-equipped vehicle had to be sent to other emergencies, he said.

Glover was banned from driving for 18 months.

Outside court, Glover's father, Danny Glover, said: "He doesn't drink normally and he didn't know what he was doing. He thought it was a taxi."

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