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Three motorcyclists sentenced for ‘shocking’ driving at speeds of nearly 200mph

Headcam footage shows riders pulling wheelies at speeds up to 80mph.

A motorcyclist pulling a wheelie (Sussex Police/PA)
A motorcyclist pulling a wheelie (Sussex Police/PA)

By Ben Mitchell, PA

Police have released headcam video footage of “shocking and dangerous driving” by three motorcyclists, which included high-speed wheelies and speeding at almost 200mph.

Thomas Ettridge and Thomas Hayden were both jailed and a third defendant, Matthew McLaven, was given a suspended prison sentence after they pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Hove Crown Court.

A Sussex Police spokesman said the conviction came after police received several reports of dangerous driving and a crash in East Sussex on April 20.

Describing the video footage as “shocking”, he said: “One of the motorcyclists was identified as Thomas Ettridge, whose GoPro camera – which had been attached to his helmet – was seized to establish if any offences had been recorded.

“The footage revealed a large number of motorcyclists in convoy between Kent and Sussex, and from this investigators were able to identify three riders in Sussex – Ettridge, Thomas Hayden and Matthew McLaven.

“Ettridge captures himself overtaking other vehicles well in excess of the speed limit on several occasions on the A21 from Kent into Sussex, including an indicated speed of 190mph in a 70mph zone at one point.

“He also performs a wheelie at 80mph in a 40mph zone, and contravenes a double white line on a number of occasions, including overtaking an articulated lorry on approach to a right-hand bend.

“He continues south on the A21 into Hastings, where he again reaches speeds up to 130mph in a 40mph zone congested with traffic, before passing on the wrong side of a ‘keep left’ bollard into the path of oncoming cars.

“Ettridge’s GoPro also captures Hayden performing two wheelies in Hastings, one of which continues for approximately 170 metres at around 70mph in a 30mph zone.

“Further to this, Hayden undertakes a moving taxi within the zig-zag approach to a zebra crossing.

“The head cam also captures McLaven following Ettridge throughout the journey, appearing to match his speed as they overtake a long line of moving traffic and contravene the double white lines.

Ettridge, 26, of New Road, Dartford, Kent, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 29 months from the date of release.

This has been a shocking investigation into some of the fastest and most dangerous motorcycling I have ever come across Pc Chris Welsh

Hayden, 26, of High Grove, Greenwich, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 27 months.

McLaven, 28, of Farnham Road, Welling, Kent, was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, and disqualified from driving for 24 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Pc Chris Welsh said “This has been a shocking investigation into some of the fastest and most dangerous motorcycling I have ever come across.

“The speeds and general aggressive manner of the riding identified are simply ridiculous and leave no room for error should the slightest of issues have occurred.

“Not only are the riders risking their own lives, but also those of the other road users around them throughout these journeys.”

PA

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