Asylum seeker locked up in UK jail after terrifying 110mph car chase through seaside town | UK | News

An Albanian asylum seeker who arrived in Britain in a rubber boat and was described as a ‘high risk to the public’ has been jailed for a terrifying police chase.

Lirdi Ruta, 19, reached speeds of up to 110mph, ran several red lights and collided with another car as he tried to evade officers for 33 miles.

The teenager, who did not have a driving licence or insurance, took off when police tried to stop him at Ashley Heath, near Bournemouth, Dorset on August 22 last year because he had cannabis on him.

He raced through the towns of Verwood, Wimborne and Poole before he was finally stopped on the A338 near to where the chase started.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard Ruta came to the UK in a dinghy in 2022 and lived in Bournemouth for a while before moving to Cambridge but his asylum status is ‘unclear’.

Tim Dracass, defending, said Ruta was “ambivalent whether he stays here or returns to Albania”.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence or insurance and possession of a Class B drug.

Recorder Don Tait said: “This was an appalling piece of driving. Because you had cannabis, you attempted to evade the police. This resulted in a 33-mile pursuit, sometimes on narrow country lanes.

“You failed to stop at a number of red traffic lights, you committed multiple traffic violations and you collided with another vehicle.

“The speed of the vehicle you were driving was recorded as up to 110mph. It’s extremely fortunate that another road user was not injured because of your driving or still worse, they could have been killed.

“The pre-sentence report describes you as being a high risk to the English public, I cannot but agree with that assessment.

“You were in this country illegally and I have not been advised as to what actions the authority intend to take as far as your presence in this country is concerned.

“You had no driving licence and no insurance. I consider this to be a bad example of dangerous driving over an extended distance and in an endeavour to escape pursuing police officers. They would also have been put at risk by your driving.”

He sentenced Ruta to 13 months in prison and said the length of the sentence may mean he is deported back to Albania.

Recorder Tait also disqualified him from driving for three years and ordered the destruction of the 64g of cannabis.

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