A man who impersonated a police officer after crashing his car in Ashford has been jailed for eighteen months.

David Saunders told people who went to his aid that he was an ‘undercover officer’, before producing a set of handcuffs and a knife.

The 37-year-old was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on 13 January 2022 after admitting charges of threatening with a bladed article, impersonating a police officer, dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Saunders tablet
David Saunders has been jailed

Collision

Saunders’ Vauxhall Astra collided with a traffic island in Beaver Road shortly before 3pm on 20 November 2021, after pedestrians had to jump out of its way. The car then mounted the pavement and hit a fence.

Members of the public approached the vehicle to check on Saunders, who was in the driver’s seat.

Saunders tried to get the car started again, without success. He then told bystanders he was an undercover police officer and attempted to take a phone from a witness who was calling the emergency services.

The pedestrians asked him for some police identification, which he could not produce, but he took out some handcuffs and a knife from his car, which he waved around erratically.

Arrest

Kent Police and British Transport Police officers attended the scene and, following a short pursuit on foot, Saunders was arrested near Ashford International railway station.

Following his arrest, he refused to supply a breath or urine sample, so that it could be determined whether he was over the drink or drug drive limit.

As part of his sentence, Saunders, from Ashford, was disqualified from driving for more than four years.

Serious offences

Detective Sergeant Robert Goodban, of East Kent Criminal Investigation Department, said: ‘It is very fortunate that Saunders’ dangerous driving on the day of these offences did not cause a far more serious collision, which could have injured him or members of the public.

‘Saunders’ behaviour after the crash would have been very distressing to those at the scene and his attempts to impersonate a police officer constitute a very serious offence.

‘I am pleased the swift actions of officers on the day saw him quickly arrested and the investigation which followed has now led to him being jailed.’

DS Robert Goodban

By Ed

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