Police stinger halts high-speed chase

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A drink–driver who lead police on a 15–mile high–speed chase has narrowly escaped jail.

The driving of David Burgess, of Market Street, Chapel–en–le–Frith, was branded ‘appalling’ by recorder Ciaran Rankin when he appeared at Derby Crown Court. The 22–year–old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

A police officer first noticed the defendant driving a Fiat Punto on the A6 at Dove Holes. Believing the car to be exceeding the speed limit, the officer gave chase, however the vehicle failed to stop.

Chris Gabbitas, prosecuting, said: “There was excess of speeding throughout the pursuit. The dangerous driving occurred when this defendant was on the A515.

“He was contravening double white lines and driving in excess of the speed limit.”

Mr Gabbitas played the court a video made by the pursuing police car, which showed the defendant’s Punto speeding through Buxton onto the A515 and overtaking other cars dangerously, with speeds exceeding 110 mph.

The force helicopter was called into action as the drunken man sped through the High Peak. Eventually officers used a stinger to bring him to a halt at Newhaven.

Burgess fled, but officers caught up with him.

Mr Gabbitas said: “The officer noticed that his eyes were glazed, his speech was slurred and the officer formed the opinion he was drunk. He vomited in the police car.”

Once at the police station, Burgess blew a reading of 59 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

James Riley, defending, said: “ It was a lengthy piece of driving, thankfully there were no accidents. It’s a rural area.”

Mr Rankin commented: “I think this was an appalling piece of driving. It’s only through good luck not talent that something worse didn’t happen. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.”

Burgess was previously disqualified from driving for 12 months after being convicted of drink–driving in May 2011. In August of that year he was convicted for taking a vehicle without consent and driving whilst disqualified.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work for the dangerous driving offence. For the drink–driving charge, he was given a two-month suspended sentence to run concurrently with the other sentence.

Burgess was ordered to pay court costs of 300 and a victim surcharge of £60