Man jailed after trying to drive wrong way on M3

An escaped prisoner who led police on a chase through fields, footpaths and even attempted to drive the wrong way down a motorway has been jailed again.

Darryl Dempsey, 22, absconded from Ford prison in West Sussex on 3 July, but officers tracked him down 10 days later when he was driving an Isuzu trooper through Hampshire.

Officers pursued Dempsey, catching up with him on the M271, but he failed to stop, and did everything he could to evade capture.

Footage from police car dashcams and the National Police Air Service shows that he even tried to drive the wrong way down the M3.

The 13-minute chase came to a sudden end in the village of Chilworth, near Southampton after one officer decided he would crash into Dempsey’s car.

No one was hurt in the smash.

Darryl Dempsey

Video: Police car crashes into fugitive

In court, Dempsey, from Eastbourne, admitted dangerous driving, escaping lawful custody, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in total, made up of 16 months for dangerous driving, six months for escaping custody, and two months for criminal damage.

The sentences will run consecutively.

Dempsey is disqualified from driving for more than five years and will have to take an extended test to get back on the roads.

Chief Inspector Mark Lewis, from the Joint Roads Policing Unit, said: “Thanks to the bravery and courage of our highly-trained officers this pursuit ended without injury and with the man responsible detained.

“If Dempsey had not been stopped at that point, he would have got onto the M3, driving the wrong way, which would have been potentially fatal for him and any other innocent road users.

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“Our roads policing officers are specially trained to carry out a range of different tactics, such as the one used in this incident, in order to stop those posing a danger to others.

“I am proud of the actions our officers took that day, putting themselves in harm’s way for the protection of others.”