FOLLOW THAT DRUNK! Quick-thinking taxi driver helps police catch drink-driver smashing into lamppost

Updated: Feb 1

Nottinghamshire Police have praised a quick-thinking cabbie who gave a Special Constable a lift, helping her to catch a drink-driver.

Brendon Cassidy, 21, ran off after crashing a car in Nottingham city centre.

Taxi driver Rayhan Islam was driving along Tollhouse Hill towards the city centre at about 4.20am on 21 December 2019 when he heard a loud bang.

He saw that on the opposite side of the road, a car had crashed into a lamppost on the traffic island outside the Byron House police station, just off Maid Marian Way and Derby Road.

Mr Islam saw Cassidy get out of the car and run off down Derby Road before turning onto North Circus Street.

He then saw two police officers – Police Constable Matthew Bower and Special Constable Amy Sutton - chase after him.

Mr Islam turned his taxi around and asked SC Sutton to get into his cab to help catch up with Cassidy.

With directions given by SC Sutton, the taxi quickly caught up with him before she got out and shouted for Cassidy to stop before arresting him on Oxford Street.

Police Constables Lawrence Verney and Christopher Gray also provided assistance following the crash.

SC Sutton said: "I was working with colleagues at our Byron House police station when I heard a loud bang from the street outside.

"I looked out of the window and saw that a car had crashed into a lamppost just off the roundabout on Maid Marian Way.

"It all happened so quickly. PCs Verney and Bower ran downstairs ahead of me and went outside to give assistance to anyone involved.

"I ran out after them to the scene as I was concerned for the driver and any pedestrians who might have been injured.

"Meanwhile a description of the driver was passed over the airwaves.

"As I ran down North Circus Street, a man pulled up beside me in his taxi and offered me a lift to help catch up with the driver who had ran off.

"I jumped in and told him to go straight over Wellington Circus before I spotted a man matching the description of the driver who was running up the hill.

"He turned left onto Oxford Street before he tripped and fell. After we’d managed to catch up with him I jumped out of the taxi and shouted for the man to stop. He was compliant and said he was ‘sorry’.

"I asked him if he’d been involved in an accident? He replied that he had.

"I arrested him on suspicion of being unfit to drive through drink or drugs and my colleagues PCs Bower and Verney arrived shortly after to assist.

"I’d like to thank Mr Islam who reacted very quickly to what happened and helped me to catch up with Cassidy and arrest him.

"It was a great example of how support from members of the public can be vital in helping us to tackle crime and catch offenders."

Cassidy, of the Ropewalk, Nottingham, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday (30 January 2020) for sentencing having pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop after an accident on Maid Marian Way.

His breath test returned a reading of 80 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – more than twice the legal drink-drive limit of 35mcg per 100 ml of breath.

He also pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on Wollaton Street, Nottingham, on 20 December 2019.

On that occasion Cassidy was found to have 79 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. 

Cassidy was banned from driving for 30 months, to be reduced by 228 days if he completes a course by 5 September 2021.

He was also given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £200 compensation, a £122 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Cassidy must also take part in an accredited programme for 31 days and complete up to five rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Image credits: Nottinghamshire Police

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