Drug user who chased teens spared jail

A FORMER delusional drug user who chased two teenagers believing they were his partner's phantom lover has been spared prison having rid himself of his drug habit.

Jo Thewlis

A FORMER delusional drug user who chased two teenagers believing they were his partner's phantom lover has been spared prison having rid himself of his drug habit.

Gavin Lankester, 32, was jailed for six months, suspended for a year at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday for the high-speed chase around Felixstowe in June last year.

At a hearing in September last year, the court heard Lankester of Childers Field, Felixstowe, had pursued the two 17-year-old men because he wrongly believed his partner was having an affair and her lover had just fled his home.


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Teenager Samuel Thomas was in his blue Citroen with a friend in Runnacles Way, Felixstowe at 1am on June 17 last year.

Lankester told the earlier hearing he had become paranoid due to a cocaine problem and started hearing things.

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He thought a man had just left his house when he saw the Citroen drive by.

Lankester chased the two men at speed in his Vauxhall Vectra, driving alongside them at times and tailgating their car.

He was found to have one gram of cocaine in his pocket when he was arrested.

Having pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, dangerous driving and threatening behaviour at the previous hearing in September, Judge Peter Fenn had suspended sentencing to allow Lankester to prove he could stay off drugs.

Michael Stephenson, in mitigation, said Lankester had stayed clean of drugs and made progress to improve his mental health.

“I am very happy to see that, in the months that have gone past, you have done absolutely everything the court expected from you,” Judge Fenn said. “That is not to say the offence was not a serious one.

“It was a very bad piece of driving which undoubtedly caused a great deal of fear for the young lads who were in the other vehicle.”

Lankester was sentenced to six months in jail for the dangerous driving, suspended for 12 months with a curfew order to stay in his home address between 8pm and 6am.

He was also banned from driving for one year and sentenced to complete 200 hours of unpaid work but received no separate penalty for the other offences

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