Jail for suspected hare courser who forced cars off road during police pursuit

Suspected hare courser Tony Baker has been jailed for putting other people’s lives at risk in attempt to escape police.

Suspected hare courser Tony Baker has been jailed for putting other people’s lives at risk in a desperate attempt to escape police. - Credit: POLICE

A suspected hare courser who forced cars off the road, ran through a red light and drove on the wrong side of the carriageway in a desperate attempt to escape police has been jailed.

Tony Baker, 27, was in Cambridgeshire at 1pm on Boxing Day 2020 when three members of the public called 999 to report dogs chasing hares and two men in a Subaru Forester estate car.

The witnesses gave police the car’s registration and checks revealed it wasn’t insured.

Police visited the area and noticed the same Subaru drive past them towards the A141 to Chatteris.

The officers turned their car round to follow on blue lights and a pursuit began.

Suspected hare courser Tony Baker has been jailed for putting other people’s lives at risk in attempt to escape police.

Suspected hare courser Tony Baker has been jailed for putting other people’s lives at risk in a desperate attempt to escape police. His Subaru is pictured. - Credit: POLICE

Baker overtook other vehicles and forced cars off the road as he headed towards March.

He also crossed a solid double white line at a junction, went through a red light on the wrong side of the carriageway and “keep left” bollard.

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He also continued to drive on the wrong side of the road into a blind corner and the path of oncoming cars.

The Subaru then turned left at the traffic lights onto the B1093 Manea Road towards the junction at Sixteen Foot Bank, and was seen driving through the crossroad and “give way” section without stopping by an off-duty police officer.

Another police officer in a second car managed to get a good view of Baker as he continued southbound on the B1098.

In desperation to avoid being caught, Baker overtook another car on a blind bend with no thought for any oncoming vehicles.

Luckily there were none and suddenly the vehicle started to break down, dropping from 80mph to 50mph.

Baker still failed to stop and turned into an entrance to a field in Langwood Hill Drove where he tried to flee but was arrested soon after.

Baker, of Stilebridge Lane, Linton, Maidstone, claimed he wasn’t driving dangerously, and in police interview answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

He later admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

Baker was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Wednesday (January 26) where Judge Jonathan Seeley told him he “selfishly chose to endanger the lives of others”.

He was handed nine months in prison and disqualified from driving for two years, with an extended retest required.

Sergeant Craig Flavell, from the force’s Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT), said: “Baker’s manner of driving was incredibly dangerous, particularly through several accident black spots.

"He had no consideration for other drivers as he attempted to escape us.

It wasn’t the first time Baker had driven dangerously either.

"He has 13 previous convictions from 2012 to 2016 which are very similar to the offences committed in this case.

"As a result, we are pleased to see justice has been done.

“Our team has taken one more dangerous driver off the roads, and we will continue to do so with others who decide to break to law.

“We would like to thank the members of the public who called us to report hare coursing.

"We also want to remind others they can help by looking out for groups of vehicles parked in rural areas (particularly by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, on a farm track or bridleway), estate cars, four-wheel drives or vans with dogs inside or groups of people using binoculars to spot hares.”

For more information on rural crime, visit the force’s dedicated web page: https://bit.ly/3o5FVtU or follow @CambsRuralCops on Twitter to see more of the team’s work.