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Religious healer led police on high-speed chase around south Norwich

Okotete ignored the sirens as police chased her through Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Okotete ignored the sirens as police chased her through Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2009

A religious healer, who claimed she could bring the dead back to life for £10,000, led police on a high-speed pursuit around south Norwich to Earlham police station.

Perpetual Okotete jumped red lights, drove in bus lanes and sped along the wrong side of the road, forcing cars to swerve out of her path.

The 54-year-old took police on the chase during rush-hour before parking outside the police station.

Michael Clare, mitigating, said his client, who admitted driving dangerously on December 7 last year, thought she was being followed during the day and drove to the station to report it.

He said: “In so far as she has done anything wrong, she is sorry.

“She maintains she is a qualified healer with powers derived from God.”

Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday that Okotete, of Mardle Street, Bowthorpe, claimed she could cure cancer for £250, HIV for £50, and bring people who had died within the week back to life for £10,000.

For £10m she claimed she could cure everyone in Britain of their illnesses.

At 5pm officers were patrolling Unthank Road when they saw Okotete in a blue Peugeot overtake another car.

They chased her, but she ignored the sirens and drove onto Newmarket Road.

Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said the police car then got in front of the Peugeot, but she overtook them in the bus lane and continued around the ring road, jumping two red lights.

At the junction with South Park Avenue, Okotete came to a stop in traffic and a police officer walked up to her car.

But she sped off as the officer smashed her window with his baton in a fruitless attempt to stop her.

Travelling at 40mph in the 20mph zones around South Park Avenue, she caused two on-coming cars to pull off the road, as she overtook traffic.

The chase ended when she parked outside Earlham police station.

Judge Paul Downes said: “The way you were driving could have caused serious injury.

“You are very lucky that there was not a serious incident.”

Okotete will be sentenced on July 18.

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