Hatfield moped ‘idiots’ appear in court after helicopter chase

PUBLISHED: 16:30 18 October 2011




TWO young men who rode across fields, tracks and roads in and around Hatfield on mopeds have been branded “idiots” by a judge.

For 15 minutes Robert Burrows, 20, and Jamie Hart, 18, were tracked and filmed by the police helicopter as they sped around the area, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Stephen Lewis said the helicopter spotted a group of youths with motorbikes and a quad bike in a farmer’s field between Hatfield and St Albans on May 8 this year.

In a clear video played to Judge John Plumstead, Burrows and Hart were seen to put on helmets and ride off across a field, leaving the rest of the group behind.

The judge praised the work of the officers in the helicopter as it followed the pair as they sped along the Alban Way, crossed the Hatfield Road and along more footpaths through woods and fields.

They were finally stopped by the police on a railway bridge in Hatfield after Hart had run out of petrol.

Burrows, of Mabley House, Lemsford Road, Hatfield, and Hart of Crawford Road, Hatfield, admitted dangerous driving.

Mr Lewis said the police seized and destroyed both bikes. When questioned Burrows admitted his driving was “very foolish.”

Neither had a licence.

Defence barrister Charles Judge, for Burrows, said that since the chase his attitude had improved. He said he now lives with his partner and two-year-old daughter.

Nick Defrietas, for Hart, said he had shown remorse and was looking for work while on Jobseeker’s Allowance. He said he helped care for his partner’s child.

Judge Plumstead told them: “I started riding a motorbike when I was 16. If I had ridden like that I wouldn’t be here now.

“This was idiotic behaviour.

“If you had hurt yourselves it would have served you right. If you had anybody else then you would have gone away.

“People who ride motorbikes in the way you did are a menace. You should be ashamed of yourselves.”

He banned them from driving for a year and ordered them to take an extended retest.

They were both given an 18-month community order with a year’s supervision and 15 days on a education and training programme.

Both must abide by a Friday and Saturday night curfew between 8.30pm and 4am until December 23.

Burrows and Hart were both also ordered to pay £500 costs.

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