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Two drug dealers involved in an hour-long pursuit have been sentenced for dangerous driving.
Patrick McCabe, 28, was the driver of a Volkswagen Golf with passenger Ronnie Beckett, 19.
He was at a car wash at Copthorne when he saw police officers and drove away at high speed.
Officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit were on patrol in the area as part of an operation to disrupt criminals using the road network.
During the course of the pursuit, McCabe, who was already a disqualified driver, was seen reaching high speeds.
The vehicle he drove was using cloned plates, which he had tried to remove to avoid detection by police.
He completed dangerous overtaking, went through red lights and went the wrong way around a roundabout.
But he was tracked by the National Police Air Service helicopter as well as officers from the Tactical Firearms Unit and Crawley Response who had come to assist colleagues.
They were located and arrested in a housing estate in Horley, and following an investigation by Crawley CID, were charged.
At Lewes Crown Court on October 6 McCabe admitted dangerous driving, possession of class B drugs with intent to supply, driving while disqualified and driving without valid insurance.
Beckett admitted possession of class B drugs with intent to supply, breach of a suspended sentence order, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
The court was told how the incident happened on July 12 this year.
McCabe’s driving was so dangerous that he only narrowly avoided head-on collisions with other vehicles.
Other motorists had to take evasive action including an emergency stop to prevent a collision.
McCabe, of no fixed address, and Beckett, of Stoneycroft Walk, Ifield, then tried to run from the vehicle.
Footage showed them trying to hide from the police before then trying to evade capture through people’s gardens.
But they were both arrested.
Inside the car, police found a Gucci bag and a Versace bag containing cannabis and cash, as well as a bank card in McCabe’s name.
McCabe was sentenced to two years and five months in prison and was given a new disqualification from driving for five years and four months.
Beckett was sentenced to a total of 17 weeks in prison.
Speaking after the case, Inspector Ollie Pullen from the Specialist Enforcement Unit said: “McCabe’s driving was appalling, he showed no regard for his own safety or the safety of other road users.
“This case demonstrates the great teamwork and professionalism by officers across the force to ensure that both offenders were caught.
“We are determined to prevent criminals exploiting the road networks for serious criminality.
“Officers will continue to disrupt the supply of drugs which cause so much harm in our communities.”
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