Cannabis-smoking showjumper fled from police in Sheffield in a sporty BMW

A talented showjumper who had been smoking cannabis fled from police officers in a BMW before “reverse-ramming” their vehicles.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:30 am

Sheffield Crown Court heard on July 5 how Jai Snelling, aged 20, was requested to stop on Middlewood Road, Sheffield, by police carrying out an Automatic Number Plate Recognition check which indicated the defendant had no M0T certificate.

Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, said police recognised the vehicle’s MOT had expired and as Snelling failed to stop a pursuit followed on Parkside Road and Penistone Road North.

Judge David Dixon told Snelling: “You were driving whilst you had taken some cannabis. As anyone knows, cannabis, like alcohol, affects your ability to concentrate and do what you need to do.”

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Sheffield Crown Court heard how a showjumper who fled from police in a sporty BMW car in Sheffield has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Snelling drove to Beeley Wood Lane which led to a dead end, according to Ms Earnshaw, and he made a harsh steering manoeuvre, like a handbrake turn, and spun around colliding with a police vehicle and then he drove into another vehicle.

Ms Earnshaw added Snelling tried to escape by “reverse-ramming” the police vehicles before he climbed out of the BMW and fled.

Snelling, of High Street, East Brunswick, Scunthorpe, who has one previous conviction, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and to failing to stop for police after the incident on December 5, 2020.

He told police officers he had been at a friend’s house after breaking up with a girlfriend and had smoked cannabis.

Mark Dooley, defending, said stable worker Snelling, who did have a licence and insurance, has had a difficult time and had feared repercussions for being stopped by the police.

Mr Dooley added that the talented horse showjumper, who has been part of the British showjumping team, contacted police after the incident and handed himself in.

Judge Dixon told Snelling: “Bearing in mind your employment I am surprised you are using drugs of any type.

“Whilst you had taken some drugs and the police noticed you, I am prepared to accept you panicked and took-off well over the speed limit while being chased.”

He sentenced Snelling to 12 months of custody suspended for 18 months with 150 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation requirement and a four-month curfew. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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