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Driver who crashed into tree had drugs

Police officer 'feared boxed-in vehicle would run him over'

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

Court No.1 New

A MOTORIST carrying drugs struck a tree and another car as police moved in to arrest him.

At one point, Reading magistrates heard, an officer feared that the car driven by Charlie George Jewell, of The Hollands, Thatcham, would reverse over him.

Helen Gambrill, prosecuting last Thursday, said police followed a Ford Focus through Newbury back streets after it overtook them and then turned into a side road without indicating.

She added: “The officers deployed their blue lights, but the car did not stop.”

The car was followed until it eventually stopped in Roebuts Close, the court heard.

But as an officer went to speak to the driver, said Ms Gambrill, the boxed-in car began to move, first hitting a tree and then the vehicle behind it.

She added: “He looked the officer in the eye, then turned the wheel, the engine running at very high revs. 

“The officer thought he was about to drive off and, at one point, feared the vehicle would reverse over him.”

Magistrates were told the officer had to twice punch 23-year-old Mr Jewell in the face in order to be able to grab the keys from the ignition.

A subsequent strip search at the police station revealed he had four bags of cannabis plus the tranquiliser alprazolam, commonly known by the trade name Xanax.

Mr Jewell told police that the cannabis – to which he said he was addicted – was for his personal use.

Likewise, he told officers, the pills were for his own use and had been procured from the ‘dark web’ – a network of untraceable online activity and hidden websites – using the online crypto-currency Bitcoin.

Mr Jewell admitted possessing the Class B-controlled drug cannabis and the Class C-controlled drug alprazolam in Newbury on December 29 last year.

He also has previous convictions for drug offences, the court heard.

Adonis Daniel, defending, said: “It is now seven months since the offences were committed and he has stayed out of trouble since then.

“He has turned his life around and is actively looking for work as a labourer.

“He has been able to sort himself out and move away from drugs.

“I would invite your worships to deal with this by way of a financial penalty.”

Mr Jewell was fined £100 and ordered to pay £50 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £30.

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