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Motorcyclist in court over dangerous riding and ‘wheelie’ manoeuvre

A man has agreed to sell his motorcycle after he was twice caught riding at high speeds in Sussex.

Ben Hawkins was stopped on the A27 between Fontwell and Tangmere where he was seen performing a “wheelie” manoeuvre in front of an unmarked police car.

He was seen riding in excess of the 70mph, and when stopped by officers, he admitted he had been showing off to his friends.

Hawkins was reported for dangerous driving, and police warned him that he could face having his motorcycle seized if he was caught committing another offence.

But a week later on February 5 Roads Policing Unit (RPU) officers spotted him riding on the A281 at Henfield, where he attempted an overtake across solid double white lines.

Hawkins told the officer that when he rides he “cannot control himself”.

The 25-year-old, of Hatherleigh Gardens, Bognor, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on June 1 where he admitted driving dangerously, and driving without due care and attention.

The court ordered him to complete 150 hours of unpaid work as part of an eight-week suspended prison sentence.

Hawkins was disqualified from driving for 18 months and must take an extended retest before he is allowed to drive or ride again. He must also pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The court heard how he has agreed to sell the vehicle after it was initially seized by officers.

RPU officer PC Tom Van Der Wee said: “Each year RPU officers take part in Operation Downsway, running through the summer, to detect and deter anti-social and dangerous drivers and riders.

“Our aim is to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on our roads due to the ‘fatal five’ factors of excess speed, drink and drug-driving, driving without a seatbelt, distraction (such as by a mobile phone), and careless or inconsiderate driving.

“This case shows all offenders they risk having their vehicle seized and forfeited.

“By his own admission, Hawkins could not control himself, and will now not be able to drive or ride on our roads for 18 months.

“We are determined to catch offenders who put their own safety and the safety of everyone else at risk.”

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