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Prolific criminal 'bit' by police dog after trying evade police in high speed chase

John Collins reached up to 70mph in a 30mph zone in Oswaldtwistle

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A prolific criminal travelling at more than double the speed limit during a police chase was eventually caught after being bitten by a police dog, a court heard.

John Collins was being pursued by officers through Oswaldtwistle in a suspected stolen

Ford Transit van and reached nearly 70mph in a 30mph zone.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker told Burnley Crown Court how the defendant sped away from police after they started to follow him and he overtook vehicles on right-hand bends and crossed sold white lines in the centre of the road.

The court heard how Collins, 42, eventually turned onto a dead-end street, fled the vehicle down a dirt track near New Lane and during a foot chase was bitten by a police dog.

Mr Parker said police dogs were used to chase after him and they ‘bit him’.

Collins, who has 35 convictions for 72 offences, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on September 15 last year, using a vehicle without no insurance and while subject to a suspended sentence order.

Robert Lassey, defending, said the van belonged to the defendant’s brother and there was a ‘misunderstanding’ about it being stolen.

He told the court: “He accepts what he has done. He was with the wrong group of people, saw the police and panicked.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The offences were committed three weeks before the suspended sentence was due to expire.”

The court heard how Collins, of Bethel Avenue, Failsworth, Manchester, was given the suspended sentence in October 2016 after committing a driving offence and then lying to the police that his vehicle had been stolen.

Judge Nicholas Barker said it was a ‘determined effort to evade the police’.

Sentencing, he said: “They released the police dogs to detain you after you fled from the vehicle.

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“You have a bad record and a number of driving matters.”

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