A STREET racer has narrowly avoided jail for trying to outrun former Tamworth Police officer on the M6 Toll before crashing into exit barriers.
Thomas Alsopp reached speeds approaching 150mph on the motorway before sliding into payment booths as he tried pulling off at junction T3 − and later told police he only stopped because his Audi had run out of petrol.
The Police vehicle was driven by a Staffordshire Police officer who previously served at Tamworth for a number of years and is now a motorway cop.
PC Nick James and PC Jim Barry on street racing patrols on the A38 spotted Alsopp parked across an emergency vehicle access slip road to the motorway on 27 December last year.
But when they approached his Audi A8 the 24-year-old, from Roston Drive in Hinckley, sped off and, after slaloming through traffic on the A38, hurtled through the villages of Minworth and Curdworth at more than double the speed limit.
Removal man Alsopp was clocked driving at 149mph on the M6 Toll shortly before crashing.
Officers found he was driving on a provisional licence and had no insurance.
And when shown police dash-cam footage of the pursuit during interview cocky Alsopp boasted about the nature of his driving and the speeds he’d reached.
He admitted dangerous driving, plus other motoring offences, and at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday he was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work, and banned from driving for 18 months.
West Midlands Police PC Jim Barry working with the Central Motorway Police Group ( CMPG ) said:
“At one stage he overtook a recovery truck on a blind bridge entering Minworth village…his driving was extremely reckless and dangerous.
“Alsopp showed no remorse and said he had no intention of stopping for officers − only stopping because he ran out of fuel − and agreed he didn’t give his three passengers any opportunity to exit his vehicle.
“In addition to his sentence, he will also be required to take an extended driving test in order to obtain a licence and has been handed a Section 59 street racing order. If he is caught breaching the terms we will seize his vehicle.”
Alsopp was caught as part of Operation Hercules − an on-going initiative involving CMPG patrols, West Midlands Police traffic units, and local police teams to tackle street racing and anti-social driving.