Teen involved in high-speed cop chase inhaled balloons and reversed into officer

A teenager involved in a high-speed car chase with cops inhaled balloons during the pursuit and reversed his vehicle into the arresting officer.

Rio Gregory, from Bolton, was spotted by police taking puffs of nitrous oxide in a stolen Ford Focus with three passengers, when they gave chase.

The 18-year-old was witnessed waving a balloon out of the car window during the chase on October 12, 2022, Bolton Crown Court was told.

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Prosecutor Geoff Wheelan said that once another police car joined the chase, they managed to stop the car driven by Gregory, of Thicketford Brow.

Once stopped on Padbury Way, Breightmet, police officer Bishop-Philips attempted to make an arrest.

The court was told how the defendant then reversed the vehicle which struck the officer – leaving him with a fractured finger.

“When I saw the car coming I honestly thought I would be seriously injured,” said Mr Wheelan, reading officer Bishop-Philips’ statement.

“As a result of what happened I have been put on restricted duty.

“The driver of this vehicle had no regard for mine or anyone else’s safety.”

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Defending, Mark Friend told the court how Gregory has shown “genuine and sincere remorse” for what he had done and in particular, what happened to the officer.

He added that his early guilty plea was an expression of remorse for his actions.

“He is seeking to take an active and supportive role in the life of his daughter,” Mr Friend explained.

“He has been trusted at work, in that particular forum.

“It may be the first evidence that he is beginning to show maturity. Better late than never.”

His Honour Judge Tom Gilbart decided against immediate custody as a result of the mitigation presented – showing the defendant’s “growth in maturity”.

He described the defendant’s actions as “stupid, selfish and dangerous” but said there was “hope for rehabilitation”.

Passing sentence for the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm he sentenced Gregory to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

For the aggravated use of a stolen car and dangerous driving, three months in prison suspended for 18 months – to be served concurrently.

During the 18 months, the judge ordered that he must undertake 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and must adhere to a 8pm to 7am curfew for three months.

The court also heard that the teenager was banned from driving for two years and must undertake another test to regain his licence.


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