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Police dog helps track down banned driver who hid in woodlands after fleeing police

A determined police dog helped to track down a banned motorist who had driven away from the police near Bexhill.

PD Cody, a 19-month-old German Shepherd, found Emma Hepburn hiding in woodland undergrowth after she had abandoned a vehicle in Crowhurst.

It followed a short pursuit by officers from the Roads Policing Unit, where she reached speeds of 80mph in a 60mph zone in the direction of Coombe Valley at 10.40pm on September 1.

The unemployed 36-year-old was also recorded reaching speeds of 55mph in a 40mph zone.

PD Cody’s handler, PC Daniel Hopgood said: “Hepburn had managed to temporarily lose police officers pursuing her.

“Her vehicle was located in a driveway where she had abandoned it. PD Cody was quick to track her through various terrain and into nearby woodlands.

“She was concealed in the undergrowth, but with the help of PD Cody we located her, and she was then arrested for various offences.”

Hepburn, of Potmans Lane, Bexhill, was charged with careless driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without third party insurance and failure to stop.

She appeared before Hastings Magistrates’ Court on September 21 where she admitted the offences.

In court it was revealed how she was previously disqualified from driving, and the ban was due to end in 2024.

She was sentenced to a community order, requiring her to complete nine months of treatment for drug dependency and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) sessions.

The court imposed a new disqualification for three years and eight months and ordered Hepburn to pay a £114 victim surcharge.

PC Lloyd Archer from the Roads Policing Unit, investigating, said: “Hepburn reached high speeds of 80mph in dark country lanes, over the speed limit of 60mph.

“Excess speed is one of the main factors of why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“This offence was made worse by the fact that Hepburn was disqualified for previous driving offences and should not have been behind the wheel in the first place.

“When she was found, she failed a DrugWipe test which tested positive for cocaine.

“She is lucky she did not cause any harm to herself or other road users.

“This case demonstrates our determination to catch offenders on our roads, using our teamwork to track her down.

“We are pleased that a potentially dangerous driver has been taken off our roads.”

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