Thief went wrong way down the A13

First published in News

A FATHER has been jailed for stealing a lorry and driving the wrong way on the A13, with police in hot pursuit.

Benjamin Waterton was sentenced to five years in prison for risking people’s lives during his hour-and-a-half long escapade.

He had pretended to lay hurt at the side of the road near the Dartford Tunnel to trick an HGV driver into pulling over.

He then punched the man, before jumping into the cab and taking the seven-and-a-half tonne lorry for a spin.

Police chased him for 25 miles as he drove dangerously through Brentwood, Thurrock, and along a number of back roads, before hitting the A13.

Waterton claims he does not remember much about the incident, which took place in the early hours of Thursday, September 20, because he had taken a cocktail of alcohol and cocaine.

Judge Owen Davies, at Basildon Crown Court, described the carnage Waterton left in his wake.

He said: “For the main part of your rampage you left a trail of bricks and debris behind you and part of a wall was damaged.

“You went through at least two red lights and went at speeds which you never should have. But more seriously, you went down the A13 the wrong way. A collision with a seven-and-a-half-tonne lorry would no doubt have been fatal for you or an innocent driver.”

Waterton took the lorry at about 1.30am but was not arrested until he was pursued into Tilbury at 3am.

He pleaded guilty to theft of the lorry, driving dangerously, driving while disqualified, with no licence and no insurance, and failing to provide a specimen of breath.

Waterton, 22, of Pollards Walk, in Sidcup, Kent, was sentenced to a total of five years in prison – four years for theft of the £30,000 lorry and one year for dangerous driving, to be served consecutively.

The father-of-one was also disqualified from driving for ten years.

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