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Stupid Case File for April 9, 2006

One-legged woman in car chase with police

Thanks to SCF readers Sue & David for another tale from across the big pond!

Courtesy of The Telegraph

When police finally arrested a motorist who had ignored red lights, overtaken on dangerous bends and driven over pavements - but never exceeded the speed limit - they found that the culprit was not a teenage joy rider but a one-legged pensioner.

Officers pursued Sandra Siddle for almost an hour in a "low-speed" chase involving a fleet of police cars and a spotter plane. She refused to stop and simply looked the other way when a patrol car pulled alongside her at a junction. The traffic lights were on red but she pulled away.

She even kept going when a "stinger" was placed across the road and burst her front tyres.

The chase, which started when police were called to a dispute at a health centre car park, ended after 24 miles when she crashed her Vauxhall Corsa into a lamppost at Chawton, Hants. It rolled into a ditch and burst into flames.

Siddle, 60, who has an artificial leg, was found guilty of dangerous driving at Portsmouth Crown Court and is awaiting sentence. She had previously admitted harassment and common assault at the health centre in Fareham.

Charles Thomas, prosecuting, said the chain of events started when Siddle deliberately blocked in cars parked at the health centre.

When a police officer arrived, she drove at her and then set off.

"Police cars pursued the defendant with blue flashing lights and sirens on," said Mr Thomas. "It was absolutely obvious that she was being required to stop but she ignored these instructions."

He added: "There is no suggestion that she was driving above the speed limit."

Siddle, from Fareham, who has been banned from driving, was warned she could be imprisoned when she returns to court next month to be sentenced.


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