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Gatwick taxi thief banned from driving after high-speed police chase

A man who stole a taxi from Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal has been banned from driving.

Mohammed Ahmed, 24, initiated a high-speed chase with police, driving recklessly on highways M25 and M40, clocking over 130mph. He even entered construction zones to escape the police. Even after the police deployed a tyre deflation device causing him to lose a tyre, Ahmed sped away, maintaining over 100mph in the stolen Mercedes taxi.

The National Police Air Service helicopter closely monitored his movements, guiding Thames Valley Police and Warwickshire Police to his location. His chase ended in a cul-de-sac in Walsall where he was apprehended.

Following a probe by Gatwick CID, Ahmed was charged with aggravated vehicle theft and dangerous driving. Hailing from Heather Avenue, Walsall, and currently unemployed, Ahmed faced the jury at Lewes Crown Court on August 4.

His sentence included an 18-month driving ban, 150 hours of community service as part of a 14-month suspended jail term. Furthermore, he was mandated to attend 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement sessions, pay the taxi driver £841.53 as compensation, cover £425 court expenses, and a victim fee of £187.

The incident took place on September 17 of the previous year. Ahmed had approached an unattended taxi, whose owner briefly stepped away, leaving the keys inside. Ahmed seized this opportunity, even visiting the owner’s residence later to dump identification documents, and sped off.

The chase was intense. Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit tried to halt him after he was spotted on the M23. Ahmed’s dangerous driving patterns persisted, swerving erratically and reaching excessive speeds. He didn’t spare any rules, breaking traffic signals, driving on the opposite side, and even taking the wrong routes at roundabouts.

Post-trial, Detective Inspector Darren Lillywhite commented on the severity of Ahmed’s actions, noting the risks he posed to himself and others. He commended the coordination of different police units in ensuring Ahmed’s capture and emphasized the hazardous nature of Ahmed’s driving.

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