Prolific offender jailed after South Downs police chase

Darryl Matthew Dempsey has been jailed for three years and eight months after pleading guilty to a string of offences.

Darryl Matthew Dempsey has been jailed for three years and eight months after pleading guilty to a string of offences.

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A criminal who escaped police custody after leading officers on a off-road chase over the South Downs has been jailed for a string of offences.

Darryl Matthew Dempsey, 21, unemployed, of Beare Green, Dorking, Surrey, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (September 20) and pleaded guilty to all charges against him.

They included eight burglaries other than dwellings, six counts of fraud, handling stolen goods, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police. He was given a 44-month prison sentence for the offences.

In one incident in July, Dempsey escaped arrest by leading police officers on an off-road chase over the South Downs. He was able to evade police before abandoning a 4x4 vehicle in the Friston Forest. He remained at large for several weeks after the chase.

Police say Dempsey, who also has links to East Sussex, was eventually arrested in Surrey on Monday August 15, after which he was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing this week.

Inspector Tony Wakefield, of the Wealden Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We're delighted with this result. Three years and eight months may seem slightly lenient to some people, considering the number of charges against Dempsey.

"But the judge made it clear in his summing up that if Dempsey appears before the court again he could expect a custodial sentence running into double figures. So, a pretty severe warning."

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