Drink-driver who drove at 75mph in 30mph areas during Sudbury police chase is jailed

Thomas Stevens was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court after a high speed police chase in Su

Thomas Stevens was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court after a high speed police chase in Sudbury. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A motorist who was nearly three times the drink-drive limit when he was involved in a high speed police chase has been jailed for 12 months.

During the chase, which started in the early hours of the morning in Sudbury, Thomas Stevens drove at more than 70mph in 30mph speed limit areas and drove onto a footpath to drive round a police car, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The chase, which lasted several miles, ended when Stevens drove his Land Rover across a field and became stuck in a ditch, said Peter Gair, prosecuting.

The court heard after his arrest a breathalyser test showed he had 102 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Stevens, 34, of Coggeshall Road, Stisted, admitted dangerous driving, drink driving, failing to stop and racially aggravated harassment and was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three and a half years.

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Sentencing him, Judge John Devaux described the incident as a “prolonged piece of bad driving” and said a female passenger was visibly distressed by what had happened when police approached the Land Rover.

He said Stevens was nearly three times the drink drive limit and had a previous conviction for drink driving.

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Mr Gair told the court Stevens had parked his Land Rover in Sudbury on April 7 into April 8 while he went to a nightclub.

Police received information that Stevens had been drinking and when he left the nightclub at 3am he was followed by a police car which had its blue lights flashing.

Stevens had pulled to the side of the road and turned round before driving towards the police car and driving along a footpath to go round the police car.

During the chase that followed, Stevens drove along the A134 at speeds of up to 75mph through 30mph speed limits and went round a blind bend on the wrong side of the road.

Eventually he turned on to a farm track and drove across a field before ending up stuck in a ditch.

After his arrest he had made racist comments to police officers even though none of them had a foreign appearance, said Mr Gair.

Richard Williams, for Stevens, said his client had been out celebrating his birthday and believed his drink had been spiked.

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