Police Dog Isla assists in detaining dangerous driver who ran from police

Police Dog Isla - Sat by a Sussex Police car

A dangerous and disqualified driver was pursued and caught by police, assisted by Police Dog Isla.

A white BMW convertible was spotted travelling at excess speed in Longford Road, Bognor Regis, around 10.35pm on 1 February.

It was pursued by police who activated their blue lights, and witnessed to carry out a number of dangerous manoeuvres, including going straight over roundabouts and through traffic signals – including temporary lights – without making any attempt to slow down or stop.

The driver also turned the lights off, believed to be in an attempt to evade capture.

The pursuit continued into Church Lane, Pagham, a dead-end road, where the driver abandoned his car and scaled a stone wall.

He was chased on foot by PC Kris Drake, assisted by PD Isla, a five-year-old German Shepherd general purpose dog.

The suspect was caught but resisted arrest on several occasions, therefore PD Isla was utilised to detain and gain control of him by biting. This allowed further officers to attend and the man was arrested.

He was identified as Oliver Houlihan, 36, unemployed, of High Street, Bognor Regis. He was required to undergo roadside tests for alcohol and drugs, but failed to comply with both.

Enquiries also revealed Houlihan had been disqualified from driving for more than three years by Northamptonshire Magistrates’ Court in August 2019.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with disqualified driving, dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, failing to stop for police and obstructing an officer in the execution of their duty.

He pleaded guilty to all offences, and at Lewes Crown Court on 11 June, he was sentenced to a total of 17 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months. He was also further disqualified from driving for three years.

Investigating officer, PC Trevor Pritchard, said: “This case demonstrates that we will continue to proactively patrol our roads in Sussex in search of drivers who put themselves and other motorists at risk. Dangerous and antisocial driving is completely unacceptable, and it all too often leads to collisions which result in serious injuries, and in some tragic cases, death.

“Our aim is to engage with our communities to provide education about the risks associated with such behaviour, and to deal robustly with offenders. We may not be everywhere all the time, but we could be anywhere.”

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