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130MPH CHASE: Man disqualified from driving after stealing taxi outside Gatwick Airport terminal

Image credit: Essex Police

A man who stole a taxi from outside the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport has been disqualified from driving.

Mohammed Ahmed led police on a high-speed pursuit along the M25 and M40.

He reached speeds in excess of 130mph, and also drove into cordoned off areas with roadworks in order to evade officers.

Despite police using a tyre deflation device, he continued to drive away at speeds of more than 100mph after losing a tyre on the Mercedes taxi.

But the 24-year-old was tracked by the National Police Air Service helicopter who informed police colleagues in Thames Valley Police and Warwickshire Police.

He drove into a cul-de-sac in Walsall and was arrested.

Following an investigation by Gatwick CID, Ahmed was charged with aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving.

Ahmed appeared before Lewes Crown Court for sentencing on Friday 4 August.

He was disqualified from driving for 18 months, and was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work as part of a 14-month suspended prison sentence.

The court ordered him to complete 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) sessions and pay £841.53 in compensation to the taxi driver.

He must also pay £425 court costs and a victim surcharge of £187.

The court was told how the incident happened on 17 September last year outside the South Terminal.

One taxi had declined to take him, and footage then showed Ahmed approach the driver’s side of another unattended parked taxi.

The owner had gone inside momentarily to collect a fare, and had left keys in the ignition.

Ahmed took the vehicle, and later attended the victim’s address to discard identification documents before driving off at speed.

Officers from Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit were alerted to the vehicle on the M23 and attempted to safely stop Ahmed.

But he drove dangerously, swerving in the road and reaching dangerously high speeds as he drove onto the M25.

The NPAS helicopter tracked the vehicle from the M25 to the M40, then the M42 and M6.

Ahmed reached the A34 and was still driving at speeds of 70mph in a 30mph zone, going the wrong way around roundabouts, through red lights, and on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Darren Lillywhite said: “Ahmed had been refused a fare when he decided to take the taxi outside the South Terminal.

“His driving was so reckless that police were not able to continue pursuing him because of the risk it posed to other road users and officers.

“Our colleagues from NPAS tracked him, and fortunately our colleagues from Warwickshire Police RPU were able to catch him and make the arrest.

“Ahmed is very lucky not to have caused serious harm to either himself, our officers, or other road users. His driving was appalling.”


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