Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Driver banned after ramming police car while being 'chased by aliens'

A driver who rammed a police car because he thought he was being chased by aliens has been banned from driving and ordered to receive psychiatric treatment. Brett Webber was in the grip of a psychotic episode when he drove for more than a mile through Exeter on the rims of his van's wheels after all four tyres had been punctured by a police stinger device. He swerved onto the wrong side of the road during the low speed chase which reached just 25 mph and ended when police cars forced him off the road and into a wall.

Throughout the journey Webber was sounding his horn because he believed its noise would ward off the pursuing aliens, Exeter Crown Court was told. Homeless carpet cleaner Webber, aged 48, whose last settled address was Venny Bridge, Exeter, admitted dangerous driving. He was ordered to receive psychiatric help as a condition of an 18 month supervision order and banned from driving for at least four years. He will have to pass an extended driving test and satisfy the DVLA his mental health has improved enough to allow him to drive again before he is allowed back onto the road.

James Taghdissian, prosecuting, said police followed Webber's van, with the logo Carpet Magic on the side, after he almost knocked over a moped rider in the centre of Exeter. They stopped him but he reversed and rammed the patrol car, leaving it dented, before driving off. Officers used a stinger to deflate all four tyres but he carried on driving. Webber continued with police behind him, sometimes losing control because of his flat tyres and swerving towards oncoming traffic. When he was he was arrested while chanting 'doh, ray, me, soh' which he believed would protect him from aliens.

Mr Taghdissian said: "The defendant believed he was being pursued by aliens who were out to kill him. He sounded his horn continuously because he thought it would scare them away. This was a prolonged course of driving." Kelly Scrivener, defending, said that since the offence 13 months ago Webber's illness had been identified as paranoid schizophrenia rather than drug induced psychosis. She said he is keen to receive treatment but is currently having problems with his accommodation which has resulted in him sofa surfing with friends. She said he is keen to be able to drive again because it is essential for his work.

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