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Suspected hare courser jailed after a 100mph dangerous pursuit in Cambridgeshire

A suspected hare courser has been jailed for two months after leading police on a dangerous pursuit that saw him hit speeds of nearly 100mph.

Nelson Hedges (26324582)
Nelson Hedges (26324582)

Nelson Hedges, 32, was reported to police by members of the public who were concerned he had been hare coursing in his silver Mazda Tribute near Isleham.

The force’s Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) spotted the vehicle, covered in mud and with dogs in the boot, driving through the village.

In an attempt to get Hedges to stop, another police car parked across the road and signalled for him to pull over but he manoeuvred around their car, mounting a pavement, and sped off.

Hedges drove at speeds of nearly 100mph in a 40mph zone and darted across two junctions without stopping, before driving onto a field in a bid to escape, causing an estimated £200 worth of damage to crops.

After doing a u-turn in the field Hedges made his way back onto the B1104, heading towards Isleham at excessive speeds before again trying to lose officers by driving through a field.

They caught up with him as he drove up a hill and used tactical contact to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

Hedges, of Guildford Road, Guildford, Surrey, was also disqualified from driving for 19 months, with an extended retest, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and criminal damage at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (January 7).

He was ordered to pay £200 in compensation, £500 in costs and handed a 10-year criminal behaviour order (CBO).

Det Con Tom Nuttall said: “Hedges was so intent to make off from police he drove at ridiculous speeds and straight through junctions, risking the safety of other road users.

“I’m grateful to the member of the public who called to report their concerns. Tipoffs like these help us target those causing problems in rural areas - we remain committed to tackling these kind of offences.”

The conditions of the order are:

  • Until 6 January 2030;
  • Not to be in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex in possession of any sight hound of any description;
  • Not to be in Cambridgeshire in company of another person or persons who is or are in possession of any sight hound of any description;
  • Not to be carried in any all-wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicle within Cambridgeshire except in the event of an emergency;
  • Not be on agricultural or farm land, or any yards or working areas associated with that land within Cambridgeshire, without the permission of the land owner;
  • Permission to be on land stated within condition 4, must be obtained in writing from the land owner stating the date permission was granted, obtained no more than seven days in advance from attendance on the land, carried on your person when attending the land, and must be presented to a police officer or police community safety officer (PCSO) immediately on request;
  • Any presence on land stated within condition 4 with appropriate permission in accordance with condition 5, must be for lawful activity.

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