Published: 10:23, 29 November 2019
| Updated: 11:49, 29 November 2019
Video footage of bikers undertaking, pulling wheelies and speeding at almost 200mph has helped secure the convictions of three men.
Watch moment biker's hit almost 200mph
It was obtained by police following several reports of dangerous driving and a crash in East Sussex on the afternoon of April 20.
One of the bikers was identified as Thomas Ettridge, from Dartford, whose GoPro camera - which had been attached to his helmet - was seized to establish if any offences had been recorded.
The footage revealed a large number of motorcyclists in convoy between Kent and Sussex, and from this investigators were able to identify three riders in Sussex, Ettridge, Thomas Hayden and Matthew McLaven, who is from Welling.
Ettridge captures himself overtaking other vehicles well in excess of the speed limit on several occasions on the A21 near Tunbridge Wells, and then into Sussex, including an indicated speed of 190mph in a 70mph zone at one point.
He also performs a wheelie at 80mph in a 40mph zone, and contravenes a double white line on a number of occasions, including overtaking an articulated lorry on approach to a right-hand bend.
He continues south on the A21 into Hastings, where he again reaches speeds of up to 130mph in a 40mph zone congested with traffic, before passing on the wrong side of a ‘keep left’ bollard into the path of oncoming cars.
Ettridge’s GoPro also captures Hayden performing two wheelies in Hastings, one of which continues for about 170 metres at around 70mph in a 30mph zone.
Further to this, Hayden undertakes a moving taxi within the zig-zag approach to a zebra crossing.
The head cam also captures McLaven following Ettridge throughout the journey, appearing to match his speed as they overtake a long line of moving traffic and contravene the double white lines.
All three defendants were subsequently reported for summons to face a charge of dangerous driving.
In police interviews, they each admitted the manner of their riding fell far below the standard of a careful and competent rider, and, according to police, all three showed remorse for their actions.
They each pleaded guilty and were convicted at Hove Crown Court earlier this week.
Ettridge, 26, of New Road, Dartford, was jailed for 10 months and disqualified from driving for 29 months.
Hayden, 26, of High Grove, Greenwich, was jailed for six months’ and disqualified from driving for 27 months.
Both Ettridge and Hayden's ban will start on the day they are released from prison.
McLaven, 28, of Farnham Road, Welling, was jailed for four months, but the term was suspended for 18 months.
McLaven was also disqualified from driving for 24 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
All three riders will be required to undertake an extended re-test should they wish to drive again.
PC Chris Welsh, of the serious collision investigation unit, said “This has been a shocking investigation into some of the fastest and most dangerous motorcycling I have ever come across.
“The speeds and general aggressive manner of the riding identified are simply ridiculous and leave no room for error should the slightest of issues have occurred.
“Not only are the riders risking their own lives, but also those of the other road users around them throughout these journeys.
“This sentencing should act as a stark reminder of the consequences of such behaviour on the roads in Sussex.
“We will not tolerate dangerous driving by any motorist on our roads, and anyone caught committing such offences will be investigated and dealt with robustly.”
Judge Stephen Mooney described the bikers’ actions as “colossally stupid and massively selfish” and said it was “nothing more than good fortune that you were not killed or injured."
More by this authorLynn Cox
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