A biker who led cops on a 180mph chase across London and three counties made a high speed dash for freedom when he vaulted out of the dock as he was jailed today.
But Marion Dragoi wasn’t quick enough as he was snared inside Wood Green Crown Court before he could make his getaway.
The 19-year-old had mounted pavements, ignored red lights, and rode on the wrong side of the road on his Honda CBR 1000 during a “terrifying” 38 minute pursuit across London and three counties last May.
But as he was sentenced to 10 months behind bars today he jumped over the barrier from the dock, stumbling to the floor, before bolting from the courtroom.
Wearing a shark face mask, jeans, and a black coat with a fur lined collar, he stood with two guards at his back and side and his hands poised on the edge of the chest-high barrier before jumping.
The teenager, pursued by security guards, made it down four stories before being stopped at the front door of Wood Green Crown Court by two police officers and guards, where he was detained.
Just minutes before, the court was told how Dragoi had “learnt the error of his ways”.
Dragoi appeared in court today to be sentenced for the motorbike chase, which took place on May 20 last year.
During the chase, police had to scramble a helicopter to keep up with the teenager as he reached “terrifying speeds” away after being spotted in Turnpike Lane, north London at around 9.20am, the court heard.
A judge heard how he took off at high-speed and outran officers trying to follow him, prompting a police helicopter to be scrambled.
Cops chased Dragoi onto the M1, heading towards Hertfordshire, where he was clocked by the helicopter travelling at a breakneck 150mph.
When he entered Bedfordshire, the chopper reported the bike was hitting speeds of 180mph.
Reckless Dragoi then made his way into Buckinghamshire, where he rode the wrong way along the M1 on the hard shoulder to enter a service station.
Officers managed to make it to the service station before Dragoi could refuel and were able to safely stop the motorbike on the petrol station forecourt.
The incident lasted more than 30 minutes and Dragoi was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, theft of a motorcycle, failing to stop for police, driving other than in accordance with a licence and no insurance.
Jane Carpenter, prosecuting, said: “This was dangerous riding and the rider himself put himself and members of the public at risk of serious injury or death.
“Road on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to get away, sometimes mounting pavements.
“The rider would have been very aware of the police presence.
In mitigation, Nadia Semlali pleaded with the judge to suspend his sentence because he was hoping to attend university after finishing a business studies course and his family depended on him financially and for the care of his sister.
She said: “It was a moment of madness he has left this house because he’s been confined due to the covid outbreak. He makes no excuses and there are no excuses for that level of driving.
“I would ask you to take into account the defendant was the most at risk in this offence in that he was not wearing protective clothing that shows a lack of maturity.
“He has learnt from the error of his ways and it is something he doesn’t not intend to repeat.”
The judge was told how he was working in construction as a traffic marshall before losing his job before Christmas because of the Covid pandemic.
The court was also told he tested positive for cocaine at the scene but no charge was brought against him.
The judge said his previous convictions for possession of an offensive weapon in public in 2020 and battery in 2017 established “short but developing pattern of defending”.
Judge Holmes said: “It is difficult to imagine a more serious case of dangerous driving.
“You travelled for about 38 mins in all in this chase 70 or 80 miles were traversed in that time and countless pedestrians, motorists and members of the public must have found their way close to you during that time.
“I’m told you have learned from the error of your ways. I very much hope that is true. I have no doubt on occasions that there is much good that can be said about you and you are looked up to by your sister.
“I am quite certain that given this sort that criminality can only be met with an immediate custodial sentence.”
Dragoi, of Tottenham, north London, previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, and failing to stop for police.
He was sentenced to 46 weeks in prison, and suspended from driving for two years and five months.