Gray Justice (A Tom Gray Novel Book 1)By: Alan McDermott
21 January 2010
Stuart Boyle held the Subaru Impreza at a steady thirty miles per hour as he headed towards the town centre. Red traffic lights halted his progress, and he gazed around at the people in the cars, on the buses, walking the streets, or sitting in their offices, most of them either at work or heading to work.
He couldn’t understand the appeal of working eight hours, doing someone else’s bidding all day long for a just a couple of hundred pounds a week. In comparison, he was sitting in a nice motor that took just three minutes to steal and would earn him five hundred pounds by the end of the day. The fact that he regularly got caught didn’t bother him: it was an occupational risk he was willing to take. Capture was simply an inconvenience: another few hours spent in a cell when he could be out casing his next hit.
No, as things stood, work wasn’t for him.
He caressed the wheel of the Subaru he had stolen the night before, wishing he could keep it a bit longer, but he’d already told Sammy Christodoulou that he had it. Sammy wanted it straight away, and you didn’t piss around with Sammy. No, best to hand it over, take the cash and see what tomorrow brings. Maybe he’d keep the next one to himself for a few days.
‘See what other music they got,’ he ordered Martin Kyle, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
In the back, Tim Garbutt nodded his head to the current beat and voiced his displeasure when the disc was changed.
‘Aww, I was listening to that.’
‘Stop bleating, Timmy,’ Kyle said, switching the CD for something with a bit more drum and bass. ‘My gran wouldn’t even listen to that crap.’
Boyle laughed, but his eyes were on the black Ford coming towards them. The thick aerial first caught his attention, and as it neared, he saw the white shirts and black epaulettes of the occupants that identified them as police in an unmarked car. The Ford passed them, and in his rear view mirror he watched it continue for another hundred yards before the blue lights illuminated and it performed a U-turn.
‘That’s Stuart Boyle in the Scooby,’ PC Trevor Haines told his partner. That was enough for his colleague, Glenn Barker, and he hit the blues and twos before spinning the car around in pursuit.
‘Hotel Oscar, this is Romeo Tango Two Five. Can we have a PNC check on a blue Subaru Impreza, licence number Whiskey Victor Five Three Victor Kilo Mike.’
Although it was procedure to check the Police National Computer, the call in was a formality. PC Haines knew for a fact that Stuart Boyle didn’t own a Subaru Impreza, nor could he have insurance to drive one because he didn’t have a driving licence. In fact, Stuart Boyle had never had a valid licence: his driving ban had started before he was even old enough to apply for one, and he had a string of motoring convictions, ranging from driving without a licence, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance, to theft of a motor vehicle and taking without the owner’s consent. All this despite being just twenty years of age.
‘Romeo Tango Two Five, this is Hotel Oscar. The vehicle is registered to a Mr Simon Glover, Winslow Way, Meopham, Kent. It was reported stolen at eight this morning.’
‘Romeo Tango Two Five, roger that. We believe the driver is a Stuart Boyle, currently disqualified from driving. We are three hundred yards behind it, heading north on Hall Lane, over.’
‘He’s seen us,’ Haines told his colleague.
‘Looks like it. Fasten your seat belt, ’cause he ain’t one for pulling over,’ Barker advised. Sure enough, the Subaru was soon doing sixty miles per hour, and their Ford was keeping up, but not gaining.
‘Hotel Oscar, Romeo Tango Two Five, vehicle failing to stop, continuing west, speed six zero miles an hour. Traffic is light, visibility is excellent, weather is clear, driver is pursuit trained, over.’
As soon as the blue lights illuminated, Stuart was plotting his course home. Once in the network of streets on the Foxwell estate, he was confident he could lose them. It was just a case of getting there before they managed to stop him. At this time of day, the ring road was the quickest way back, especially in an Impreza.
He hit the accelerator and was soon doing sixty through the morning traffic, weaving between cars and speeding down the centre of the road, forcing other drivers onto the kerb. At the traffic lights he was held up by stationary cars, so he took to the oncoming lane and sped through the junction, narrowly avoiding a collision with a bus coming from his right.
The move held the police up, and he gained an advantage, pulling a further hundred yards ahead, but another set of red traffic lights evened things out, and he had to slow in order to squeeze into a gap between a car and a van. The police were right on his tail now, and traffic ahead was stopped, so he took to the pavement, scattering pedestrians as he searched desperately for a clear stretch of road. Up ahead he saw nothing but stationary vehicles, so he turned into a side road and sped along residential streets at twice the speed limit.