Arrested man ran across M62 claiming officers 'weren't real police'

Thomas Hooson
Thomas Hooson -Credit:Merseyside Police

A man fled from the back of a police car after being arrested and ran across the M62.

Thomas Hooson made his bid for freedom while claiming that the detaining officers were "not real police" and that he was "being kidnapped". He was able to escape after being left unrestrained in an unlocked vehicle.

Liverpool Crown Court was told an argument had erupted between the 27-year-old and relatives at the family home on March 8 this year. As he left the address, Hooson kicked out at the rear of a Kia car belonging to his sister leaving a dent in the boot.

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Derek Jones, prosecuting, described how Merseyside Police were subsequently contacted and he was later arrested. He was said to have "seemed compliant" with officers at this stage.

Hooson, of Oldbridge Road in Speke, was then placed in the back of a patrol car without handcuffs and with the doors unlocked. But, while being transported into custody, he "appeared to become paranoid, saying that they weren't real police officers and they were kidnapping him".

The PCs pulled over on the hard shoulder of the M62 in the Huyton area as a result as they attempted to "calm him down". Hooson was then able to get out of the car and "ran over live traffic lanes" in order to escape.

He was detained again shortly afterwards within the vicinity, being left with "multiple cuts from running through thick undergrowth". The defendant has 10 previous convictions for charges including possession of drugs, motoring offences, theft, public order matters and failing to surrender to bail.

Mike Hagerty, defending, told the court: "This is a situation where, at the time this occurred, the defendant was in a bad place with drug addiction. He tells me that his four weeks in custody have cleansed him of that, at least for the time being.

"He is in a better place than he ever has been. The irony is that he surrendered to the police in the first place.

"His thought processes were incorrect. He was not handcuffed, and the door to the car was not locked.

"I'm afraid the temptation was too great, and he left. It seems it was only a matter of yards away where he was found.

"When he saw the officers, he tells me that he came out and gave himself up to them. He is very anxious to be able to be back with his family as soon as possible.

"The majority of his record is as a youth. He has never served a custodial sentence in the past."

Hooson admitted escaping lawful custody and criminal damage. Appearing via video link to HMP Altcourse, he was handed eight weeks behind bars.

Having already served four weeks on remand in custody, he will therefore be released "imminently." Sentencing, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said: "On the way to the police station, you took the opportunity to escape from the police car under the pretence that you were becoming unwell.

"You made off, but not for long. You have now spent the intervening period in custody.

"This was nothing planned by you. It was impulsive.

"It was short lived. There was no violence towards the officers concerned.

"You have effectively served that sentence. Even if you are not released today, you will be released imminently."

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