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Dangerous driver convicted after reaching speeds of 180mph

News   •   Nov 25, 2020 06:45 GMT

A teenager has admitted to dangerous driving offences after reaching speeds topping 180mph in London and three other counties during a half-hour pursuit.

Marian Vasilica Dragoi, 19 (09.06.01), of Teynton Terrace, Haringey, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving a motor vehicle without a licence, and driving without any insurance at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 23 November.

During his police interview, Dragoi admitted to all driving offences and will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday, 14 January 2021.

At about 21:20hrs on Wednesday, 20 May officers from the Met’s Operation Venice Command were dealing with a separate matter in Turnpike Lane, Haringey, when a number of high-powered motorcycles cut across their path while making off at speed.

As police units entered Green Lanes, they could just make out a small plate on one of the motorcycles. This later transpired to be a false registration plate and the rider, later established to be Dragoi, was riding alone and did not know the other motorcyclists.

As Dragoi continued to ride off at speed, officers made progress to catch up with him but could see he was accelerating.

Enquiries revealed Dragoi was the rightful owner of the bike, although he did not hold an appropriate licence or insurance to operate the bike.

A pursuit was shortly authorised and officers requested assistance from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter.

Dragoi went through multiple red lights, drove on the wrong side of the road and travelled well in excess of the speed limits. The MPS’ Tactical Pursuit and Containment Cars (TPAC) lost sight of the motorbike, but the NPAS helicopter was able to assist and continued to trace the bike.

Dragoi continued to drive dangerously at high speeds, with NPAS clocking him doing 70mph in a 20mph zone. Shortly afterwards, he was driving at speeds of 100mph.

Once on the M1 heading towards Hertfordshire, Dragoi was travelling at more than 150mph. Dragoi also entered Bedfordshire, where NPAS reported the motorcycle was hitting speeds of 180mph.

Shortly after this, Dragoi made his way into Buckinghamshire, where he rode the wrong way along the M1 on the hard shoulder to enter a service station.

Operation Venice officers managed to make it to the service station before Dragoi could refuel and were able to safely stop the motorbike on the petrol station forecourt.

The incident lasted more than 30 minutes and Dragoi was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, theft of a motorcycle, failing to stop for police, driving other than in accordance with a licence and no insurance.

The arresting officer, Sergeant Tony McGovern, from the Met’s Operation Venice Command, said: "At one point of the pursuit, Dragoi went straight through every single red light he was confronted with, rode on the wrong side of the road in his attempts to get away and even mounted pavements.

“Throughout the pursuit, he continued to ride in a dangerous manner, and he only had the NPAS helicopter tracking him - without any police vehicles on the ground anywhere near him.

“He failed to stop for police and continued to put his own life and the lives of other road users, as well as innocent pedestrians, into serious danger.

“Our highly trained Operation Venice officers are out on the streets of London every day fighting moped, scooter and motorbike enabled crimes and I hope this case acts as a deterrent to anyone considering to display such erratic behaviour on our roads."