Trio jailed after wrong-way M53 chase

26 March 2019, 05:53 | Updated: 26 March 2019, 05:55

farragher hodkin farrell

Three men who drove on the wrong side of the M53 during a police pursuit last August have been jailed.

Officers were contacted just after 2am on Wednesday 22nd August when a Peugeot 3008 car was stolen from outside a property on Durban Road in Wallasey following a burglary at the address.

The vehicle was later sighted on Bebington Road and at around 4.30am a pursuit was undertaken involving officers from Merseyside Police, North West motorways policing Group and a National Police Air Service helicopter.

After a pursuit during which the offenders drove the wrong way on the M53 and narrowly missed colliding with Voncoming vehicles, the car was stopped by police on the motorway using a stop stick at 5.30am.

Credit: National Police Air Service

The three males were arrested and later charged with burglary and theft of the car and were jailed for a total of eight years, one month at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday (22 March).

- Charlie Farragher, 19 years, of Vittoria Street, Birkenhead was jailed for three years, nine months for burglary, aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle and breach of a suspended sentence. He was also sentenced for a burglary on 18 August 2018 in which a vehicle was stolen, and a making off without payment offence. Farragher was disqualified from driving for two years, 11 months

- Joseph Francis Farrell, 18 years, of Cathcart Street, Birkenhead was jailed for one year, nine months for burglary and aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle. He was disqualified from driving for two years, one month

- John Hodgin, 19 years, Tapestry Gardens, Birkenhead was jailed for two years, seven months for burglary and aggravated unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle. He was disqualified from driving for two years, nine months

Detective Inspector Andy McCourt said: “The way this stolen car was driven at speed and in the wrong direction on a motorway could have left an innocent motorist, passenger or the offenders themselves seriously injured, or even worse.

“Thanks to the professionalism of our officers, the incident was brought to a safe conclusion and because they were apprehended that night, the three offenders will now spend a long time in prison where I hope they will reflect upon their actions.

“We welcome the fact they are behind bars, where they belong, and I hope the efforts of our officers that night show how seriously Merseyside Police takes burglary.

“It is not a victimless offence, it has a massive and lasting effect on victims and we will do everything in our power to trace those responsible and bring them to justice, as we have done here.”

The National Police Air Service helicopter was deployed from Barton; one of 14 NPAS bases providing borderless air support to police forces in England and Wales.

Steve Jones, National Police Air Service Assistant Operations Director in the North West, said: "When one of our helicopters is above a pursuit, we’re giving police on the ground an aerial view of what’s happening. That allows us to collectively manage what is a high risk situation.

"We’re pleased to have supported Merseyside Police to help bring this incident to a safe conclusion."