BMW driver sentenced after police chase through Bognor Regis

A disqualified driver, who led police on a high-speed pursuit before abandoning his car and being brought down by a determined police dog, has been sentenced

Officers spotted a white BMW convertible speeding in Longford Road, Bognor Regis, around 10.35pm on February 1.

Police gave chase and the BMW made a number of dangerous manoeuvres, including going straight over roundabouts and through traffic signals – including temporary lights – without making any attempt to slow down or stop.

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The driver also turned the lights off, in an attempt to evade capture.

PD Isla SUS-210620-153901001

The pursuit continued into Church Lane, Pagham, a dead-end road, where the driver abandoned his car and scaled a stone wall.

He was chased on foot by PC Kris Drake, assisted by PD Isla, a five-year-old German Shepherd general purpose dog.

The suspect was caught but resisted arrest several times, so PD Isla managed to gain control of him by biting. Back-up officers arrived and the man was arrested.

The driver, identified as Oliver Houlihan, 36, of High Street, Bognor Regis, refused to undergo roadside drug and alcohol tests.

It was discovered that Houlihan had been disqualified from driving for more than three years by Northamptonshire Magistrates’ Court in August 2019.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with disqualified driving, dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, failing to stop for police and obstructing an officer in the execution of their duty.

He pleaded guilty to all offences, and at Lewes Crown Court on June 11, he was sentenced to a total of 17 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months. He was also further disqualified from driving for three years.

Investigating officer, PC Trevor Pritchard, said: “This case demonstrates that we will continue to proactively patrol our roads in Sussex in search of drivers who put themselves and other motorists at risk.

“Dangerous and antisocial driving is completely unacceptable, and it all too often leads to collisions which result in serious injuries, and in some tragic cases, death.

“Our aim is to engage with our communities to provide education about the risks associated with such behaviour, and to deal robustly with offenders. We may not be everywhere all the time, but we could be anywhere.”