Dangerous Derbyshire driver reached speeds of 80mph during a high-speed police chase

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A dangerous driver has been brought to justice after he raced through residential areas during a high-speed police chase.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 9 how Stephen Murtagh, 36, formerly of Church Street, Ashover, admitted dangerous driving after he tried to get away from police who had been following him because he had previously failed to attend a court hearing.

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said: “It was about 9pm when a police officer on mobile patrol was made aware of a BMW travelling from South Yorkshire to Derbyshire and police wished to speak to Mr Murtagh for failing to attend court.”

The BMW was spotted on the A61 at Whittington Moor roundabout and it continued along the A61, according to Mr Carr, and turned into Redvers Buller Road and onto St Augustine’s Avenue.

Mr Carr added that police concluded the driver was trying to get away and the BMW was driving about 60mph in a 30mph zone on St Augustine’s Avenue so the police vehicle illuminated its lights and sounded its sirens.

Police followed the BMW to Church Street, according to Mr Carr, where it accelerated to 70mph and it continued along Langer Lane and Long Lane.

Mr Carr said Murtagh accelerated to 80mph and went to Eastwood Lane, at Ashover, where the vehicle skidded on a bend and rolled over.

He added: “Officers approached the vehicle. He had decamped from the vehicle and police dog officers were deployed and the defendant was found in a farm building.”

Murtagh, of High Street, Clay Cross, told police he should have stopped but panicked and he accepted that he had run off after crashing the vehicle.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after the incident on October 4.

Defence solicitor David Gittins conceded that some of the roads involved are residential and there had also been a passenger in the vehicle.

District Judge Andrew Davison who told Murtagh he is facing a possible custodial sentence committed the case for sentencing at Derby Crown Court on October 30.