A PANICKED driver led police on a hair-raising chase through Colchester because he “feared for his life”, a court heard.

Lenice Murrain, 34, allegedly reached speeds of up to 70mph as he made his way to Colchester Police Station with an officer in pursuit.

Ipswich Crown Court heard Murrain was first approached by Colin Maidwell, who spotted him parked in his Fiesta, in Old Ipswich Road, Colchester.

Mr Maidwell had known the defendant for around two years.

The court heard Mr Maidwell was aware police wanted to speak to Murrain about a burglary at his home address, so followed him while giving the police directions.

When Murrain was spotted, Mr Maidwell pulled up alongside the Fiesta, while a police car stopped directly behind it.

Nicola May, prosecuting, said officers approached the car on both sides, shouting ‘Police’ and ‘Open the door.’

“The officers describe the engine revving and the car went backwards fairly fast, colliding with the BMW police car,” she said.

“One smashes the window of the vehicle with a baton to try and open the door and grab the keys.”

The court heard when Murrain managed to break free, he drove directly at Mr Maidwell, who was standing beside the open door of his car.

Ms May said Mr Maidwell managed to leap out of the way as Murrain smashed into his car.

During a subsequent chase, officers say the Fiesta was witnessed travelling at speeds of up to 70mph as the driver made his way to Colchester Police Station from Ipswich Road.

The court heard Murrain drove into oncoming traffic in order to overtake other vehicles, over a mini roundabout and through a set of red lights.

When he reached the police station, he pulled up and put his hands in the air. He told officers he feared for his own safety.

Ms May said: “While he does not dispute the driving was dangerous, he says he was aware Mr Maidwell had made allegations about being involved in an incident at his address.

“He states when stationary in his vehicle he was aware of Mr Maidwell approaching and felt boxed in.

“He says the next thing he knew the windows of his car were being smashed.”

Murrain, of no fixed address, denies one count of dangerous driving and three counts of causing criminal damage.

The trial continues...