Marian Vasilica Dragoi, of Teynton Terrace, Haringey, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, as well as failing to stop for police, driving a motor vehicle without a licence, and driving without any insurance at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 23 November. The 19-year-old also admitted to all driving offences during his police interview and will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on January 14, 2021. Dramatic footage released from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter showed Dragoi roaring past other cars on the M1 heading towards Hertfordshire, at around 9.20pm on Wednesday, May 20.
He was travelling at more than 150mph on a motorbike.
The video showed lorries and cars appearing to move at a much slower speed compared to the motorbike, with them likely travelling more than half the speed, in accordance with the national limit of 70mph.
Dragoi then entered Bedfordshire, where the NPAS reported the motorcycle was hitting speeds of 180mph.
At one point, the video showed a heart-stopping moment when the vehicle edged alarmingly close to the back of two lorries.
London news: Video footage shows a dramatic police chase across three counties
But he then slowed down in order to avoid crashing into the back of them.
Dragoi next made his way into Buckinghamshire, but stopped on the hard shoulder past the services, with police in the video suggesting the driver had run out of fuel.
Suddenly, the motorbike started up again and sped the wrong way down the M1 and into a service station towards a petrol station, potentially putting other cars at risk.
However, Operation Venice officers managed to make it to the service station before Dragoi could refuel.
READ MORE: Police footage shows how vehicles were hit in dramatic car chase
London news: The bike is seen stopping at one point
The incident, which lasted more than 30 minutes, ended with Dragoi being 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.
The arresting officer, Sergeant Tony McGovern from the Met’s Operation Venice Command, said: “At one point of the pursuit, Dragoi went straight through every single red light he was confronted with, rode on the wrong side of the road in his attempts to get away and even mounted pavements.
“Throughout the pursuit, he continued to ride in a dangerous manner, and he only had the NPAS helicopter tracking him – without any police vehicles on the ground anywhere near him.
“He failed to stop for police and continued to put his own life and the lives of other road users, as well as innocent pedestrians, into serious danger.
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London news: The bike was seen speeding past a lorry
“Our highly trained Operation Venice officers are out on the streets of London every day fighting moped, scooter and motorbike enabled crimes and I hope this case acts as a deterrent to anyone considering to display such erratic behaviour on our roads.”
The police pursuit started after officers from the Met’s Operation Venice Command were dealing with a different incident in Turnpike Lane, Haringey.
Suddenly, a number of high-powered motorcycles cut across their path while travelling at speed.
As police units entered Green Lanes, they could just make out a small plate on one of the motorcycles.
This later turned out to be a false registration plate and the rider later confirmed to be Dragoi, was riding alone and did not know the other motorcyclists.
As Dragoi continued to ride off at speed, officers attempted to catch up with him but could see he was accelerating.
London news: Police were eventually able to catch up with the driver
Police enquiries revealed Dragoi was the rightful owner of the bike, but he did not have the correct licence or insurance for the bike.
A pursuit was shortly authorised and officers requested assistance from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter.
The MPS’ Tactical Pursuit and Containment Cars (TPAC) lost sight of the motorbike at one point, but the NPAS helicopter was able to assist and continued to trace the bike.
Dragoi continued to drive dangerously at high speeds, with NPAS seeing him doing 70mph in a 20mph zone, before then driving at speeds above 100mph.