Durham Police have released some shocking dashcam and body-worn footage (scroll down for video) of the moment when a Bentley driver took police on a high-speed pursuit in A 550 horsepower sportscar.
Richard Bowser, of Percy Street, Bishop Auckland, got behind the wheel of his Bentley Continental GT on Sunday, May 23, having consumed a vast quantity of cocaine.
Bowser was wanted on suspicion of assault and was spotted by officers heading towards Tow Law on the A68.
He immediately crossed into the opposite side of the road to overtake traffic before making off from police.
One of the pursuing officers later described witnessing a young girl watch in horror as the speeding Bentley careered past her.
Bowser reached speeds of up to 130mph during the pursuit and was seen to carry out multiple high-risk manoeuvres, darting past traffic and pedestrians at what police have called ‘terrifying’ speeds.
It was not long before officers successfully deployed on stinger and the Bentley’s front tyres started to deflate, but not before out-of-control Bowser struck a police vehicle.
A police volunteer photographer, who was a passenger in the police vehicle, captured the moment that all four of the Bentley’s wheels left the tarmac at 90 mph seconds before impact.
Despite both vehicles suffering massive damage, officers were shocked to see Bowser’s Bentley limp on for another half a mile, still at speeds of up to 90mph and now littering the road with debris, before finally coming to a halt at Low Willington Industrial Estate.
After ditching the vehicle, Bowser tried to flee on foot but was no match for the pursuing officers who took him into custody after being tased.
Appearing at Durham Crown Court last week, the 44-year-old was convicted of dangerous driving, drink driving and drug driving, and was handed an 18-month prison sentence, disqualified from driving for 45 months, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156.
Inspector Ian Leach, of the Roads Policing Unit, said:
“Bowser’s actions were appalling, and his recklessness could so easily have had catastrophic consequences.
“He demonstrated a total disregard for the safety of others as soon as he got behind the wheel of his car under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.
“The outcome of this incident could have been fatal, and it is by sheer luck that those he crashed into escaped with only minor injuries.
“It takes far more than a high-performance vehicle to make a good driver, but Bowser’s prison sentence and lengthy disqualification will nevertheless help to protect the public from harm.”
Bowser, whose Bentley was written off in the pursuit, will have to pass an extended driving test before being allowed to drive again.
Before you do, don’t forget to become an ‘ESN Insider’.
For just £3-per-month, our team will send you a weekly digest of the most-read stories and most-watched videos from the front line of the worlds emergency services. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Before you go...
WE NEED YOUR HELP. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative 'anti' bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.