Criminal free to return to Bulgaria after six years on the run

Conrad Sanderson.
Conrad Sanderson.

A wanted man who has been on the run from Humberside police for six years for crimes in Bridlington has walked free from court to return to Bulgaria after a judge said 30-days in a rough Bulgarian Prison was enough.

Nine-times banned Conrad Sanderson, 50, of Beverley Road, Driffield, drove on Scarborough Road, Bridlington at 58mph, in a 30mph-zone sparking a police chase on February 5 2006.

Patrol officer PC James Gray put his flashing blue lights on, but disqualified Sanderson took off down Church Green towards the Priory refusing to stop. He snuck down Applegarth Lane, but lost control crashing into a fence.

Crown barrister Gurdial Singh told Hull Crown Court on Tuesday May 2 that Sanderson then reversed up and took off again with PC Gray in hot pursuit. Sanderson sped down St Mary’s Walk ignoring traffic at a junction into an underpass then dumped his car and ran.

PC Gray struggled to arrest Sanderson, after finding him hiding in a carpet.

Sanderson pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and assault with intent to resist arrest on PC James Gray. However he fled court fearing prison in December 2006.

Sanderson initially fled to Greece then moved to Bulgaria free from detection.

He was in regular contact with his girlfriend in East Yorkshire but refused to come home because he knew he faced jail as he has 32 convictions for 114 offences. His record includes nine driving disqualifications and six offences of dangerous or reckless driving. Sanderson wrote a four-page letter to the judge describing his dismal treatment in a string of Bulgarian prisons while he waited to be extradited. Bulgarian prisons are reputed to be worse than those in Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine. Up to eight men share a cell and foreigners are treated differently.

Defence barrister Richard Thompson told the court Sanderson wanted to return to Bulgaria to be the face of tourism welcoming holidaymakers.

“He has a full, settled life in Bulgaria,” said Mr Thompson. “He has his own modest property which he has renovated. He works in the tourism industry – in a ski resort in the winter. He is due back on June 1 for the start of the summer season. His employer does not know of his troubles. If he does not get back he will lose his job.”

Sentencing Judge Michael Mettyear told Sanderson: “I have read what you have written about the time you spent in prison in Bulgaria. By all accounts you did not like it very much. You have a terrible record. I think you have spent enough time in custody. I am going to give you the chance to go back to Bulgaria today.”

He ordered Sanderson should be given a six-month suspended prison sentence and disqualified from driving for two years. It allowed his immediate release after 18 days in Hull Prison.