Tamworth man who fled 260 miles from police with child in car jailed

Wednesday, 20th May 2020

A MAN who hits speeds of 100mph with a child in his car before colliding with a police car has been jailed.

Last year we reported how following the ordeal for the youngster ended in a crash which closed the M5 in Somerset for 10 hours.

Wayne Smith, 27, of Mile Oak, assaulted a woman at an address in Tamworth on 4 August last year before taking her child and driving 260 miles to Newquay, Cornwall, in the early hours of the following day.

Tamworth man who fled 260 miles from police with child in car jailed

Police were called and colleagues from Avon and Somerset Police found Smith’s vehicle on the M5.

When officers were trying to stop the vehicle by boxing it in between junction 22 and 21, near Weston-super-Mare, Smith turned his vehicle and struck a marked police 4×4, causing it to overturn several times.

The vehicle came to rest on its roof, leaving an officer trapped as the vehicle then caught fire. The officer was rescued and suffered head injuries and PTSD.

Tamworth man who fled 260 miles from police with child in car jailed

At the time, a Member of Parliament who witnessed the collision described the officers involved as “utterly selfless”.

The 27-year-old was then arrested and the child, who was found in the foot well of his vehicle, was taken to hospital and released the following day.

Smith was jailed for two years and two months at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 11 May following a trial.

Tamworth man who fled 260 miles from police with child in car jailed

He was jailed for 16 months for dangerous driving, two months for assault by beating and eight months for assault/ill-treat/neglect/abandon a child/young person likely to cause unnecessary suffering/injury. He was also sentenced to five months for assault a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm to run concurrently.

He was acquitted of false imprisonment and sexual assault.

The collision happened at 2140 BST on Monday 5 August 2019, as police attempted to stop the vehicle near junction 21 on the Northbound of the M5 between Weston-Super-Mare and Clevedon.

Detective Constable Martin Ottey, from force CID, said: “Smith took a young child without his mother’s knowledge and put its life at risk by driving extremely dangerously and reaching speeds way over the speed limit.

“He put the child, the officers and himself in danger and it’s a miracle no one was seriously injured. Despite his best efforts to get away, officers arrested him and he’s now been brought to justice for his actions.”

Last year we reported how James Heappey who is the Member of Parliament for Wells witnessed the collision and described the officers involved as “utterly selfless”.

In a tweet, he said he had been stuck on M5 for four hours “just back from a big RTA”.

“As the story breaks on what happened here, people will reflect on how brave & utterly selfless our police officers are,” he said.

JAILED: Wayne Smith. (Photo Credit: Staffordshire Police)

JAILED: Wayne Smith. (Photo Credit: Staffordshire Police)