Grimsby
July 31, 2020 5.01 pm

Teen avoids jail for drug fuelled police car chase

Judge gave him one more chance

A teenager high on cocaine drove at 90 mph along country roads near Grimsby in a bid to flee from pursuing police officers, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Friday.

Officers were called out because of concerns for the safety of Harry Thomas who was sitting in his Audi A3 with the engine running.

Thomas, whose vehicle was outside the Swallow Inn in the village of Swallow, refused to speak to the officer sent to check out the situation and instead he reversed and drove away.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, said that the police car, with its lights on and siren sounding, followed Thomas down a cul de sac with the officer parking broadside across the road to stop him getting out.

But instead Thomas mounted the grass verge and set off on what was to become a 22-minute pursuit which was eventually abandoned by police because the situation became too dangerous.

During the incident Thomas drove at 90 mph in a 60 limit, overtook on the blind brow of a hill, took a blind bend on the wrong side of the road and went the wrong way around roundabouts.

The pursuit continued from rural roads into the urban area of Grimsby before the officers decided not to continue.

Mr Philo said “His registration number had been taken down. As a result the police knew where he lived. They visited his home and his mother let them in. He came downstairs and was arrested.”

Thomas, 19, of Vaughan Avenue, Grimsby, admitted dangerous driving as a result of the incident on the evening of January 5 this year.

He was given 10 months custody suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £425 prosecution costs.

Judge Simon Hirst told him: “This was a terrible piece of driving. People could have been killed. You shouldn’t have a licence. You weren’t ready for it.

“I am just prepared to suspend the sentence. This is your one chance. You won’t get another one.”

Laura Marshall, in mitigation, said that Thomas, who had no previous convictions, was under the influence of cocaine when he drove.

She told the court: “He made the foolish decision not only to drive but to take cocaine. His parents, grandparents and the whole family unit were absolutely horrified when they discovered this was something he was doing on a recreational basis.

“He has addressed his issues. He is on medication for depression. Cocaine is no longer a feature of his life.

“His parents are mortified that their son, who had been brought up to be a decent and hard-working young man, finds himself in this position.”

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