Dukes of Hazzard car chase leads Steve McColl straight to court
It could have been a car chase straight out of the Dukes of Hazzard!
Thieves caught red-handed siphoning diesel in the countryside are then pursued by two police cars down narrow lanes and over fields.
At one point the getaway Land Rover takes off and flies more than five foot in the air! then it ploughs through iron gates before ploughing into a tree!
The Sheriff's car from the Dukes of Hazzard. Picture: Eeekster, Richard E Ellis
And just like in the hit 70s TV show, the villain comes a cropper – and is arrested and jailed.
But the diesel raider Steve McColl told amused police officers he had just hitched a lift and had been asleep throughout all the drama!
Now the 32-year-old crook – who has a 120-long criminal record – is behind bars for the next two-and-a-half years.
McColl, of Appledore Close, Margate had admitted stealing petrol from a Porsche and two taking part in raids on a business, stealing £3400 worth of diesel.
He also admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving dangerously and driving while disqualified.
Judge Adele Williams told him that he had “risked life and limb” in the hair-raising 50 mph chase through the fields of Kent.
Prosecutor Kieran Brand had told Canterbury Crown Court how in February £15 worth of petrol had been taken from a Porsche in Birchington. Police later discovered McColl’s spittle near the vehicle.
Then, twice in a week in March, he took diesel from premises belonging to Humphrey Hulme of Wingham.
CCTV,which recorded the thefts, was viewed by police and McColl was identified.
Then on March 23, he struck again, this time in a stolen Land Rover when police were tipped off he was siphoning diesel at Abbey Farm in Bedlam Court Lane in Minster.
Mr Brand said: “As the police arrived, the green Land Rover had just left passing the officer’s car. By now two police vehicles were following the vehicle.
“The Land Rover accelerated to 50 mph down the narrow country lane on the wrong side of the road, swerving from side to side.”
The prosecutor said McColl then drove straight into Canterbury Road West without stopping before driving into a field.
“The Land Rover was still swerving from side to side and on one occasion striking one of the police vehicles before accelerating away until it came to a large steep bank.
“The vehicle hit the bank at 50mph and then went vertical – to some five feet into the air!" - prosecutor Kieran Brand
“The vehicle hit the bank at 50 mph and then went vertical – to some five feet into the air!," he added.
McColl then drove into Manston Golf Centre – smashing through metal gates and dragging them behind causing sparks to fly.
"It drove straight through two wooden fences where it struck a tree and knocked it over. The vehicle was then grounded and couldn't continue," he added.
The prosecutor told how McColl was arrested and later claimed he had been offered a lift and had fallen asleep and didn’t know it had been stolen.
Judge Williams told McColl: “You drove in a dangerous manner without any thought for life and limb. It was a mercy that no-one injured.
“This was professional criminality and you have to pay the price. Your damage to the farm alone cost the farmer £4,500!”
He was also banned from driving for four years.
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