BMW driver fled wrong way down A12 slip road on drink and drugs

Lisa Bastiani will have to wait until December next year for her trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Danny Hewitt appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A man who drove the wrong way down a slip road of the A12 and crashed his car into a bush after fleeing police while over the limit for drink and drugs has been jailed for eight months.

Danny Hewitt appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday to be sentenced for dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, and driving with excess alcohol and cocaine in his system in Colchester.

The 30-year-old admitted all four charges at an earlier hearing before magistrates on January 7.

Prosecutor Lynne Shirley said police attended United Way, near Colchester United football ground, following a call from a concerned member of the public, just before midnight on May 18 last year.

Officers were met by a grey BMW travelling at between 5mph and 10mph, straddling the central white line of the road and swerving from side to side.

After following an indication to stop, and as one of the officers exited the police car, the BMW suddenly reversed and drove off at speed towards Severalls Business Park.

Hewitt's car was then picked up by another unit as it entered Severalls Lane in excess of twice the 30mph speed limit, before turning into Newcomen Way, onto the Ardleigh Crown Interchange and travelling the wrong way down the off slip at junction 29 of the A12.

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His car was found unoccupied and crashed into a bush between the Dragonfly Hotel and A&S Aggregates in Old Ipswich Road.

Following a search involving a dog unit and the police helicopter, Hewitt was spotted hiding under a bridge, by a highways engineer, about an hour after the pursuit began.

He was found to have 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg – and 188mcg of cocaine per litre of blood – the legal limit being 10mcg.

Hewitt made full admissions in interview, telling police he had driven off in panic at being caught driving after drinking six or seven cans of Stella following an argument with his ex-partner.

The court heard Hewitt had struggled to cope with being denied access to his children after failing to keep up with child maintenance payments when furloughed from his road surfacing job last year.

It led to him drinking heavily and using recreational drugs, the court heard.

Hewitt was said to have since quit drugs, cut down on drinking and been offered a new job.

Recorder Graham Huston said: "This was a very bad piece of driving, which involved deliberate disregard for the safety of others.

"It's a miracle no one was hurt or killed, or that there was no damage to any other vehicle."

Hewitt, formerly of Ipswich, but now of Barleyfields, Witham, was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for 40 months.

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