Shropshire robber and drug dealer sent back to prison after 80mph police chase

A drug dealer who bragged that he ‘smoked’ police during a high-speed chase has been sent back to prison.

Jamie Wilkinson was originally locked up over a robbery near Wrexham
Jamie Wilkinson was originally locked up over a robbery near Wrexham

Jamie Wilkinson, from near Oswestry, was on licence after being released from a 45-month sentence for a robbery near Wrexham when he carried out the new offences in Devon in 2018.

He sent the boasting texts to friends after driving across a grass verge and the wrong way down an A30 sliproad to escape a police rolling roadblock near Exeter Airport.

Police abandoned the pursuit as being too dangerous after Wilkinson drove his Mercedes hire car through a 40 zone in a town near Exeter at speeds of up to 80mph and went through numerous red lights.

He dumped the car in Ottery St Mary before he, his girlfriend and dog fled on foot and went back to her home in Sherborne, Dorset, where he was tracked down four days later.

Police found £5,920 worth of cocaine at that address and six bullets or shotgun shells and a high-powered BB gun in the car, along with a set of his false teeth.

Wilkinson was recalled to Dartmoor Prison because he was on licence and was later found with a phone, 13 SIM cards, cannabis and steroids in his cell.

He went on the run after being released and was only arrested in August after police made a public appeal to find him.

He had previously been jailed for a terrifying robbery at the Esso garage at Rhostyllen, near Wrexham, where 200 packets of cigarettes and £2,470 in cash was taken. He was accompanied by a man armed with a claw hammer, who he refused to name.

Wilkinson, aged 29, formerly of Ashlands Road, Weston Rhyn, but now of Dorset, admitted dangerous driving, possession of cocaine with intent to supply, and firearms offences and was jailed for four years, eight months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: "You sent messages referring to the police pursuit. This was a very serious example of dangerous driving. The harm you risked was very great indeed.”

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said Wilkinson got a friend to hire the car but police became suspicious of his movements and tried to box him in on the A30.

He appeared to slow down but then shot off the wrong way down the sliproad at Clyst Honiton and went the wrong way around a roundabout before heading towards Cranbrook.

He increased speed to 80mph in a 40mph zone, drove on the wrong side of the road and through red lights, leading the police to break off the pursuit because it was too dangerous.

Wilkinson drove to Ottery St Mary where he left the Mercedes near Oak Close and threw the key away on open ground, where it was found by a child and handed to police.

He was arrested in a house in Salisbury Road, Sherborne, on October 5, with drugs and a phone which contained offers to supply them and a list of people who owed money.

Miss Payne said: “One message said he had been chased all day and he seemed to be boasting about that. He said he’d been in a police chase and was stuck in Ottery St Mary.

“A message said the police tried to pull him over but he ‘smoked them down the motorway in a Mercedes’. His web history showed he searched for news about a police chase near Exeter.”

Mr Nick Lewin, defending, said there had been a long delay in bringing the case to court which had enabled Wilkinson to overcome a cocaine habit and change his lifestyle.

He now has the support of a new partner and plans to make a fresh start when he is released.

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