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>Trainee helps paper win exclusive before starting work

Soon-to-be trainee reporter Derek Bish helped the Haverhill Echo get exclusive pictures and eyewitness accounts after a high-speed car chase – before he started his new job.

Derek, (18), who currently lives on the Isle of Wight, is due to start work at the Echo on March 14.

He had been visiting the Suffolk town of Haverhill when he spotted the aftermath of the chase, and got on the phone to the newsdesk.

Derek called chief reporter Karen Steel to tell her he had spotted six police cars in a field, with a police helicopter hovering above – and his quick thinking meant the paper was able to get exclusive pictures of the action and eye witness comments.

Karen said: “Our photographer took a quick trip up the road to discover the scene just as Derek had described, with policemen frogmarching two men, suspected of stealing a car, back to a waiting police van.

“A quick call to the police revealed the car had been stolen from Haverhill and spotted in Cambridge, with police giving chase, and an hour long pursuit following.

“We managed to get pictures of the arrests plus the site and I was also able to get comments from eyewitnesses in a nearby village, where the car had crashed, landing on its roof before the occupants ran off across the fields.”

She praised Derek for showing excellent initiative. Other papers carried the story but it was the Echo that got the all-important pictures.

She said: “It’s quite impressive. The fact that he was leaving the town and bothered to pick up the phone is very promising for the future.

“It’s a shame he wasn’t able to follow it up himself but it’s a good start and we are looking forward to him joining us.”

  • Following the incident one man has been charged with taking a car without consent, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, failing to stop after being instructed to do so by police and failing to stop after an accident. A second man has been released on bail on suspicion of stealing a vehicle.