Drunk driver chased by police goes to jail
8:30am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Latest News
A DRINK driver who led police on a chase on roads ‘designed for the horse and cart and not a van at high speed’, has been jailed for 10 months.
Ashley Clark was more than twice over the limit when police in Calne tried to stop him after they spotted he was not wearing a seat belt.
But the 45-year-old van driver sped away from the pursuing officers before going along the back roads to Royal Wootton Bassett.
When he got close to home he leapt from his van and hid in undergrowth and had to be tasered before he was arrested.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the offence took place at about 2.30pm on Saturday, August 10.
The court heard how the Transit van went at 70mph in a 30mph zone before going the wrong way round a roundabout, clipping a kerb as Clark struggled to control the vehicle.
He then narrowly missed a bollard before going at 85mph in a 50mph area and crossed double white lines to overtake.
After turning on to the Clyffe Pypard road he narrowly missed a tractor as he continued to drive away from the officers.
When he got to the road where he lives in Royal Wootton Bassett, he jumped out of the van and ran into undergrowth and had to be subdued with a taser.
Miss Marlow said when he was detained he told officers: “I had a few drinks. I have just split up with my missus. I should have stopped.”
When he got to the police station he was found to have 77mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mg.
She said he had a previous conviction for drink driving from 2008 as well as driving while disqualified and without insurance.
Clark, of Downs View, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving with excess alcohol.
Mike Jeary, defending, said: “He accepts these roads were designed for the horse and cart and not a van at high speed.
“He is extremely remorseful and he has done the obvious thing which is to get rid of his van.
“His chances of driving again in this lifetime is nil because no insurance company would touch him.
“He was, by occupation, a van driver. He is now living with his parents who thought they had got rid of him, but he is back with them again.
“He needs to get another life, another job, and tackle what is behind all of this which is alcohol.”
Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said: “You put motorists and members of the public at extreme risk.
“It is very fortunate that no members of the public were injured or property damaged.
“That dangerous driving lasted a prolonged period.”
As well as imposing a 10-month jail term, the judge also banned him from the road for three-and-a-half years and until he passes an extended driving test.