Two men have been jailed after robbing a terminally ill man of his car and leading police on a pursuit through Bexhill.
Thomas Munday, 25, unemployed, of no fixed address, and Billy Draper, 22, of Nightingale Road, Maidstone, were both sentenced at Lewes Crown Court, said police.
The victim was driving a white BMW 4 series company car in Claremont Road, Seaford, on Wednesday, November 17, when he noticed he was being followed by a black Fiat Punto.
He pulled over next to Costcutters, where he was approached by the passenger in the Fiat, who demanded he got out of the car, police said.
After initially refusing, police said the 58-year-old local man was dragged from his car, causing minor injuries, and the two vehicles made off from the scene at about 12.50pm.
PC Chris Storey, of the Polegate Roads Policing Unit, located both vehicles on the A259 Marsh Road shortly afterwards and pursued them eastbound towards Bexhill.
A police spokesman said: “The BMW turned into the Applegreen petrol station, in Barnhorn Road, and attempted to make off in the opposite direction, at which point PC Storey made tactical contact to prevent it from doing so.
“Following this, the first suspect ran from the BMW and got into the passenger seat of the Fiat, which was waiting on Barnhorn Road.
“PC Storey then made tactical contact with the Fiat, again preventing the vehicle from making off.”
Police said both suspects ran from the vehicle and one of them – the BMW driver – was detained and arrested by PC Storey in nearby Coneyburrow Lane, Bexhill, following a short chase on foot.
He was identified as Thomas Munday, 25, unemployed, of no fixed address.
Police said the second suspect was located in nearby Ticehurst Avenue, Bexhill, by officers and a dog unit, and was arrested.
He was identified as Billy Draper, 22, a tarmac layer, of Nightingale Road, Maidstone, Kent.
Police said Munday was remanded in custody and charged with robbery, drink-driving (48mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath) and driving with no insurance.
He pleaded guilty to all three offences and at Lewes Crown Court on January 17 he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, police added.
He was also disqualified from driving for four years from the date of his release, and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
Police said Draper was recalled to prison, having previously been released on licence. He was charged with robbery, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance.
He pleaded guilty to all three offences and at Lewes Crown Court on January 17 he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, according to police. He was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
PC Storey said: “Our main priorities are to keep people safe on our roads and to deal robustly with offenders, and occasionally we are required to deal with incidents where criminals are determined to get away.
“Unfortunately for them, I was determined to stop them, and with the help of our response and dog units, we were able to safely secure these two dangerous individuals.
“Had they got away, the extent of their criminality could easily have escalated. I’m thankful no one was seriously hurt and justice has been served.”
Sergeant Dan Pitcher, of the Polegate Roads Policing Unit, said: “I would personally like to commend PC Storey, whose quick-thinking actions helped apprehend two dangerous criminals.
“Our roads policing officers receive regular training and are highly skilled to deal with incidents such as this, however it still takes a level of poise and professionalism to execute one tactical stop – let alone two.
“Further to this, PC Storey was able to chase and detain one suspect, and back-up was called to locate and detain the second suspect.
“Chasing someone on foot – with all the equipment our officers are required to carry – is no easy task, and this highlights the rigorous fitness tests our officers go through to be able to perform to the best of their abilities.”