Van driver escaped from police car and ran off wearing handcuffs


A van driver arrested on suspicion of drink driving escaped from a police car and ran off still wearing his handcuffs, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Friday).

Guy Mantle, who only held a provisional licence, was approached by an officer as he manouvred the van out of a parking space in Donington Market Place.

Mark Knowles, prosecuting, said the officer opened the driver’s door and smelled drink and noticed that Mantle’s eyes were glazed.

Mantle initially said he had not been drinking but moments later admitted “I’ve had a couple”.

A roadside screening test produced a positive reading and he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Mr Knowles said “The officer handcuffed the defendant and placed him in the rear of the vehicle.

“The officer started to make checks on the van. The defendant then started trying to get out of the police vehicle.”

Mr Knowles said the officer tried to grab hold of Mantle but the defendant got away and ran off.

Mantle was arrested two hours later after he was found at an address in Horncastle Road, Boston.

He was taken to hospital for treatment to an injury. While there he gave a blood sample which gave an alcohol reading below the legal limit for driving.

Mantle, 22, of Whitehall, Gosberton, admitted offences of escaping from lawful custody, criminal damage to a pair of handcuffs and driving without insurance as a result of the incident on the evening of 17 October 2015

He was jailed for four months, disqualified from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay £16.95 compensation for damaging the handcuffs.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told Mantle “Anyone who has been lawfully arrested and escapes from the custody of the police loses their liberty. I cannot draw back from immediate custody.”

Chris Milligan, defending, said Mantle was about to take his driving test at the time and panicked.

“It was the most foolish thing he could have done.

“He was trying to help his friend. His friend had more to drink than him and he stupidly offered to drive the last part of the journey.

“He did pass his driving test and he now has a full licence.

“He is a hard working young man. He is aware of how serious these maters are. Immediate custody would destroy his life at the moment.”