AN ESCAPED prisoner tried to get away from officers by attempting to drive the wrong way down a busy motorway.

Darryl Dempsey from Eastbourne was jailed for two years after admitting dangerous driving, escaping from lawful custody, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

The 22-year-old had been wanted by police after absconding from Ford prison on July 3 last year.

Southampton Crown Court was told Dempsey had been serving a sentence for a number of offences including burglary and fraud.

On the evening of July 13, Hampshire police officers were alerted to an Isuzu Trooper being driven by Dempsey on the M271 motorway near Southampton.

It followed the vehicle when it failed to stop.

The chase was ended when police deliberately crashed into the vehicle.

Police have now released dramatic video footage of the pursuit and collision which led to Dempsey’s arrest.

A force spokesman said: “As footage from the National Police Air Service and one of the police cars shows, Dempsey did everything he could to avoid capture.

“This included driving across fields, driving on footpaths and even attempting to drive down the wrong way of the M3.

“Knowing just how dangerous driving this would be, one of the officers took decisive action and forced a collision with the vehicle.

“Fortunately no one was seriously injured as a result of the incident.”

The pursuit lasted for 13 minutes and ended in Chilworth, near Southampton.

As well as the prison sentence, Dempsey was banned from driving for five years and 24 weeks, with an extended test to be taken after that time.

He was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Mark Lewis said: “Thanks to the bravery and courage of our highly-trained officers this pursuit ended without injury and with the man responsible detained.

“If Dempsey had not been stopped at that point, he would have got on to the M3, driving the wrong way.

“This would have been potentially fatal for him and any other innocent road users.

“Our roads policing officers are specially trained to carry out a range of different tactics, such as the one used in this incident.

“This is in order to stop those posing a danger to others.

“I am proud of the actions our officers took that day.

“They put themselves in harm’s way for the protection of others.”