Police car and Asda delivery van 'smashed up' by Mercedes during high-speed pursuit in Worthing
A 25-year-old man in a Mercedes led police on a high-speed pursuit through Worthing and crashed into an Asda delivery van.
Michael Murdock drove through quiet residential roads at speed and mounted the pavement in his efforts to evade officers, a court heard today.
At one point police managed to corner him in a cul-de-sac but the 25-year-old spun the car around and got away, smashing into the police car in the process.
Serving prisoner Murdock, 25, was convicted of dangerous driving, failing to stop when directed and three counts of failing to stop after a road accident in relation to incident, which happened on April 23, 2018.
He appeared at Hove Crown Court today for sentencing.
Prosecutor Jennifer Gray said: “At about 6.15pm officers were in the vicinity of the A259 in Worthing.
“They spotted a vehicle where this defendant was at that point the passenger
“Whilst there was no issues at that point about the manner of driving officers were aware that there was some intelligence in relation to drugs in relation to this defendant. They decided to follow.”
The officers activated their blue lights and siren to indicate to the car that it should pull over. It did not.
When officers caught up with the Mercedes hatchback they saw both front doors open and the driver and passenger swap sides.
With Murdock now in the driver’s seat, the car sped off at high speeds and refused to stop for the officers, the court heard.
The prosecutor continued: “The car then went into a cul-de-sac where they were some children present, driving at speed.
“The car then turned round and came back out of the cul-de-sac and hit the police car, mounted the pavement and hit another car.”
Murdock’s driving was so dangerous that police had to give up their pursuit for safety reasons, the court heard.
About 15 minutes later the Mercedes also crashed into an Asda van that was out for delivery.
Later that evening officers spotted the car parked up and empty, the prosecutor said.
Since this incident last year, Murdock has been convicted and jailed five years for possession with intent to supply crack cocaine in separate circumstances. He appeared in court today via videolink from Wormwood Scrubs prison.
Defence barrister Georgia Luscombe cited her client’s ‘very unstable childhood’ in mitigation and asked that any jail term run alongside his current one.
Judge Shani Barnes remarked on how Murdock 'smashed up a number of innocent people's cars'.
She said: “You have to decide to say that you are strong enough to want a better life for you and your family.
“You are 25, you cannot give up on yourself. You do have to take responsibility for this really irresponsible behaviour.”
Murdock was sentenced to 12 months in prison, to run alongside his current term. He also will be disqualified from driving for 12 months upon his release.
Murdock – who is about to become a father – is due for release in December 2020.