A VAN driver has been jailed for ramming a police car after an 80 mph police chase through country lanes in mid Devon.
Ryan Gillard led police on a 25 minute pursuit in which he carried on at high speed despite his wheels being punctured by a stinger device near Bickleigh Bridge.
He refused to stop for police because he was subject to three different disqualifications and had no insurance for the van, which he used to try to batter police out of the way at a road block.
The chase started in Tiverton where Gillard drove at 60 mph in back streets with 30 mph limits and he then took off into the countryside where police had to drive at 83 mph on back lanes to keep up with him.
He was boxed in by three police vehicles on the A3072 near Tiverton but damaged the side and rear of one of them when he tried to ram it out of the way.
He tried to run off and was seen destroying his mobile phone before the police were able to seize it.
Gillard, aged 28, of Turner Rise, Tiverton, and previously from St Paul’s Close, Honiton, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for a year by Judge David Evans, who added another disqualification and ordered him to take an extended re-test.
He told him:'You were driving a van while disqualified and must have become aware of the police when they turned on their blue lights and sirens. You made off after another individual alighted from the van.
'You sought to avoid the police for a lengthy period of time and over a considerable distance, beginning through the streets of Tiverton where you drove at 60 in a 30 mph limit.
'You then went on the road to Exeter and on towards Crediton.
'You drove at excessive speeds of up to 80 mph, at times on the wrong side of the road, cornering when not fully sighted and continued to drive after a stinger was deployed successfully.
'It deflated your tyres but even when police attempted to box you in with a number of vehicles, you deliberately collided with one of them, causing damage to it.'
Mr Paul Grumbar, prosecuting, said police tried to stop a van after they saw Gillard dropping off a man in Tiverton at around 10 pm on April 18 this year. The pursuit ended near Crediton after covering around 12 miles.
Gillard had been disqualified for a total of three years after two offences of failing to provide drink driving specimens in March and September 2022.
Mr Sam Wysocki, defending, said Gillard had a difficult childhood in care which left him with a distrust of authority and mental health issues including ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and paranoia.
He had the van because he runs his own business and wanted to convert it and sell it as a camper van.