‘Paranoid’ Fenland man jailed and banned from driving after high-speed police chase

A PARANOID man who suffers hallucinations and led police on a high speed chase through the icy streets of Wisbech has been jailed and banned from driving.

Benjamin Boldan, of Wellington Terrace, had fled his flat in panic at 2am on December 13 last year after hearing noises which scared him and had gone to seek refuge at a friend’s house, a court heard.

Police officers went to stop him in South Brink on 13 December because he seemed to be driving too quickly for the freezing temperatures and was wandering across the road in his Peugeot, Cambridge Crown Court was told on Friday.

However, the 24-year-old then accelerated away towards the A47 roundabout and took the Wisbech bypass, reaching a speed of 110mph on the 60mph road.

During the 25-minute pursuit on other 30mph and 40mph roads he topped 60-80mph, not slowing down at traffic light junctions and at one set going through on red, said prosecutor Charles Myatt.

The Peugeot ended up in a dead end and Boldan ran off. Police, noting what he was wearing, tracked him down to a flat in Wellington Terrace “where he had already changed his clothes”.

He initially said he wasn’t driving but then admitted he had panicked when he saw police behind him because he had just bought the car and wasn’t insured.

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Mr Myatt said: “He said his driving was crazy but not dangerous.”

In effect Boldan had driven around in a square, back to his own flat, said his barrister Beth Heaton. She said the five mile trip had taken about 10 minutes.

Mitigating, Ms Heaton told the court: “He lives alone and at 2am heard noises which scared and panicked him and was compelled to leave his flat because he was scared. He suffers paranoia.

“He has suffered from mental difficulties from a very early age. He has been told he might be schizophrenic or bi-polar. He suffers from hallucinations, visual and audio.

“On 13 December the defendant was experiencing an episode of paranoia. He was going to Peterborough to see a friend to seek solicitude. He had not been drinking or taking drugs.”

Boldan pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to surrender and driving without insurance.

He was sent to prison for nine weeks and disqualified from driving for 18 months. Record Angela Rafferty said he caused he a real risk to other drivers or pedestrians.

She said: “It was a prolonged course of very bad and dangerous driving at excessive speed over five miles on local roads.”

“You must have realised you were in a bad position to drive and you could have stopped at any time.”

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