A motorcyclist is facing jail after a police chase from Worthing to Brighton involving two helicopters backed up by dozens of officers on the ground.
Gavin Collett, 32, was due to be sentenced at Chichester Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 12 April). He remains in prison, awaiting a new date.
Collett was charged with dangerous driving and two counts of failing to stop after a crash as well as driving while disqualified and without insurance.
The chase happened last month – on Thursday 10 March – when Collett, of Bramber Road, Broadwater, spent two hours tearing through the area at high speed, police said.
The unemployed biker was first spotted by officers as he zoomed at a speed exceeding 100mph southbound down the A24 between Broadbridge Heath and Findon shortly after 2.30pm.
After circling the area, he crashed in Offington Drive, Worthing, at the junction of the A27 at about 3.40pm. He then continued without his helmet towards Durrington before going back to the A27 and heading towards Brighton.
Collett raced down Dyke Road Avenue – the border of Brighton and Hove – and into the centre of town by the Palace Pier before heading west towards Portslade.
He went along Western Road, through Hove, and circled Brighton again before he crashed for a second time at the barriers to the Churchill Square car park just before 5pm.
He dumped the bike and went into the shopping centre where he then also dumped a leather jacket before slipping out into the town centre.
At the time Inspector Dave Frey, from Sussex Police, said: “The suspect was riding with total disregard of his own safety and those of others – at excessive speeds, through red lights, manoeuvring around bollards on to the wrong side of the road and on to pavements in town centres.
“He pretty much contravened every road traffic law and I’m thankful that no one was injured.
“The helicopter was the best option to monitor his progress without causing any further danger. We also had traffic officers and the police dog unit assigned.”
Police, including neighbourhood officers, searched the Churchill Square Shopping Centre and the town centre and checked CCTV footage.
Collett, who used to live in Freshfield Road, Brighton, was arrested in Fratton, Portsmouth, three days later – on Sunday 13 March – and was brought before magistrates the next day. He pleaded guilty.
He faces up to two years in prison when he appears before a crown court judge. The aggravating factors make a jail sentence almost inevitable, according to the court’s sentencing guidelines.