Driver banned after ramming police while 'chased by aliens'
A driver who rammed a police car because he thought he was being chased by aliens has been banned from driving and ordered to receive psychiatric treatment.
Brett Webber was in the grip of a psychotic episode when he drove for more than a mile through Exeter on the rims of his van's wheels after all four tyres had been punctured by a police stinger device.
He swerved onto the wrong side of the road during the low speed chase which reached just 25 mph and ended when police cars forced him off the road and into a wall at Rydon Lane.
Throughout the journey Webber was sounding his horn because he believed its noise would ward off the pursuing aliens, Exeter Crown Court was told.
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Homeless carpet cleaner Webber, aged 48, whose last settled address was Venny Bridge, Exeter, admitted dangerous driving.
He was ordered to receive psychiatric help as a condition of an 18 month supervision order and banned from driving for at least four years.
He will have to pass an extended driving test and satisfy the DVLA his mental health has improved enough to allow him to drive again before he is allowed back onto the road.
Recorder Mr Andrew Oldland, QC, told him:"The greatest danger you pose to the public will be if you drive while you are in a psychotic state.
"In my judgment that would be a very grave risk and only when the authorities are satisfied that your illness has been addressed and managed will it be proper for you to drive again.
"You are also a danger to the police because when you are ill you view them with great distaste and suspicion and there have been a number of instances of tension between you and the police.
"Your record and offending justify custody but the public interest is not best served by sending you to prison so I am making an order which ensures you will receive treatment for your illness."
James Taghdissian, prosecuting, said police followed Webber's van, with the logo Carpet Magic on the side, after he almost knocked over a moped rider in the centre of Exeter.
They stopped him in Clifton Hill but he reversed and rammed the patrol car, leaving it dented, before driving off. Officers used a stinger to deflate all four tyres in Polsloe Road but he carried on driving.
Webber went down Barrack Road, turned left into Topsham Road, with police behind him but carried on, sometimes losing control because of his flat tyres and swerving towards oncoming traffic.
When he was stopped in Rydon Lane he was arrested while chanting 'doh, ray, me, soh' which he believed would protect him from aliens.
Mr Taghdissian said:"The defendant believed he was being pursued by aliens who were out to kill him. He sounded his horn continuously because he thought it would scare them away. This was a prolonged course of driving."
Kelly Scrivener, defending, said that since the offence 13 months ago Webber's illness had been identified as paranoid schizophrenia rather than drug induced psychosis.
She said he is keen to receive treatment but is currently having problems with his accommodation which has resulted in him sofa surfing with friends.
She said he is keen to be able to drive again because it is essential for his work.