Catalogue of violence sees man jailed for five years
PUBLISHED: 12:58 12 March 2019
An offender who attacked a woman in Dartford before he set off on a violent rampage has been jailed.
Kent police said he torched a caravan and ran over pedestrians in two separate incidents.
Now he is behind bars for five years.
The constabulary said Lee Rice deliberately set the caravan alight after a man came to the assistance of a woman he was assaulting at the property in Dartford last August.
In a separate incident around a month later, police saw him driving recklessly on the M2 near Sittingbourne, and he hit pedestrians in Rochester during a prolonged chase.
The 33-year-old, of Hockenden Lane in Swanley, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court following a trial.
The court heard that on the night of 4 August 2018 Rice assaulted a woman at a caravan in Parsonage Lane, Dartford, and a member of the public came to her aid, only to be attacked by the defendant. The good Samaritan did manage to drive the victim away from the scene, but Rice gave chase trying to force them off the road.
Later that night he attended the Greenwich home of the man who came to woman’s aid and stabbed his car tyres with a knife before going on to set the caravan alight.
When the man attended the scene, with two other members of the public, Rice attempted to run each of them over with his car, said Kent police.
Officers were called and Rice fled and went into hiding until he was spotted driving dangerously near the M2 at its A249 junction. He drove off at speeds of up to 150mph.
The National Police Air Service tracked the vehicle with their helicopter for around 10 minutes before he drove into stationary traffic in Star Hill, Rochester.
In an attempt to avoid the traffic he mounted the pavement and hit members of the public before colliding with railings and coming to a stop.
Prior to mounting the pavement, he struck a car an off duty police officer was travelling in.
A foot pursuit took place and the off duty officer was able to detain him in Victoria Street before handing him over to on duty officers.
In court, Rice was found guilty of two counts of affray, a dangerous driving offence on 4 August, arson and damaging property. He was found not guilty of a further count of affray. These counts relate to the offences committed on August 4 and 5.
He had previously admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and dangerous driving. These counts relate to the offences committed on 17 September and he was banned for the roads for six years.
Detective Constable Steve Brown, the investigating officer for the offences committed on 17 September, said: “Rice has shown himself to be a dangerous offender who is prepared to injure other members of the public to try and evade justice. ‘The consequences of his actions could easily have been fatal.
“The sentence imposed by the court is entirely justified and means he is no longer able to endanger innocent members of the public.”