Driver spared jail after speeding at 140mph during A27 police pursuit

Video footage has captured the moment a dangerous driver tried to avoid arrest by speeding away from police cars at 140mph.

According to Sussex Police, Michael Shorter, 33, told officers he felt the 'need for speed' when he drove his BMW off at speeds of 140mph in Worthing, Shoreham and Washington on November 27 last year.

Police said Shorter claimed his reason for driving away from officers was because he 'panicked' about having nine points already endorsed on his driving licence.

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He claimed: “All I was doing was driving fast, I got scared.”

Police said Shorter drove so quickly that several specialist officers from the Sussex Roads Policing Unit were required to locate him and safely bring the vehicle to a stop after a pursuit over ten miles. Officers from the tactical firearms unit also helped to bring the driver to a stop.

"During the prolonged incident he failed to stop for police, reaching high speeds of 130mph in a 50mph zone and 95mph in a 40mph zone, overtaking vehicles on a blind bend, and undertaking vehicles on A27 at 100mph," a police spokesperson said.

"Eventually RPU officers were able to stop his vehicle, and Shorter, of The Glen, Salvington, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous-driving and resisting arrest."

At Hove Crown Court on January 7, Shorter admitted dangerous driving and failing to stop, police said.

A BMW driver told officers he felt the 'need for speed' when he drove off at speeds of 140mph in Worthing, Shoreham and Washington. Photo: Sussex Police

The spokesperson added: "Judge Roger Chapple sentenced Shorter to a six-month suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of unpaid work, and disqualified him from driving for two years.

"Shorter’s vehicle was seized and the judge made a deprivation order under the Sentencing Act 2020 which means he will be deprived of his rights to the vehicle.

"He was also ordered to pay £425 court costs and a £128 surcharge."

Excess speed is one of the 'fatal five' causes of people being killed or seriously injured on roads in Sussex.

RPU officer PC Tom Bezants, investigating, said Shorter’s driving was 'dangerous', adding: “It is only down to luck that nobody was killed by his lack of regard for the safety of himself, his passenger or other road users.”

PC Bezants said Shorter had driven away from police at high speed, to the point where officers pursuing him at 140mph made no ground in catching him.

The pursuit in roads around Worthing and Washington continued for ten miles and lasted for more than an hour-and-a-half.

PC Bezants added: “The safe resolution of this incident involved officers from both the roads policing unit and tactical firearms unit, who worked together showing professionalism to safely bring Shorter to a stop.

“Excess speed is one of the main reasons why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, and we are determined to stop drivers who put themselves and everyone else at risk.

“This case shows dangerous motorists that they too could lose their licence and their vehicle, and demonstrates our determination to catch offenders to ensure our roads are safe.”