Watch the moment this dangerous driver from Burgess Hill swears at a police helicopter before being dragged out of his car in Brighton

A dangerous driver from Burgess Hill who made a rude gesture at a police helicopter crew while trying to evade officers in Brighton has been jailed, Sussex Police have said.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 4:46 pm
Slah Hassine, 51, of Junction Road, Burgess Hill, was jailed for three years and eight months in total. Picture: Sussex Police.

Police said officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit were on patrol approaching Elm Grove, Brighton, when they were alerted to a vehicle without insurance at 3.45pm on October 15.

The officers turned on the siren and blue lights to stop the black BMW, which at first pulled over, said police.

They said it was being driven by Slah Hassine, 51, of Junction Road, Burgess Hill.

When an officer got out to speak to the driver, police said Hassine reversed the BMW and drove away at speed.

Further specialist officers from the Roads Policing Unit, Tactical Firearms Unit and Specialist Enforcement Unit were called to find it, as well as the National Police Air Service helicopter.

Police said the vehicle was traced to Warren Road, Brighton, travelling towards Woodingdean and footage shows the moment when Hassine spotted that he was being tracked by the helicopter.

It captured him swearing at the camera out of his window, said police, before Hassine attempted a turn in the road to travel in the opposite direction.

He then drove over a traffic island and bollard to escape unmarked police vehicles, but was brought to a stop by officers and detained, they said.

Police said they found three bags of cocaine under Hassine’s body and another in his jeans.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “An officer from the Dogs Unit was also called in to carry out a search of the vehicle, and two bags of cocaine and burner phones were found inside the car.

“There was also paperwork inside the car which showed Hassine was given a driving disqualification, which was still in effect at the time.

“Detectives at Brighton CID worked hard to ensure Hassine was charged with possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of a class A drug, dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and driving without valid insurance.

“At Lewes Crown Court on November 16, Hassine admitted the charges and was jailed for three years and eight months in total.

“He was also banned from driving for three years and three months, to include a 17-month period when he will be due for release on licence.”

Detective Sergeant Duncan Lloyd said: “Hassine put the safety of other road users at risk when he drove dangerously through Brighton to evade arrest.”

He said Hassine’s behaviour behind the wheel was ‘appalling’ and that Hassine ‘had no choice but to plead guilty’ when presented with the evidence of his actions in court.

“This conviction has ensured that drugs supply in Sussex has been disrupted and a dangerous driver has been taken off our roads,” Detective Sergeant Lloyd added.