‘Pure luck’ no one hurt by drink-driver who hit 90mph in built-up area
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An exercise rider for some of the most valuable horses in the world drove at speeds of up to 90mph in a residential area while nearly twice the drink-drive limit.
Stephen Clancy, 42, of Edinburgh Road, Newmarket, admitted dangerous driving, drink-driving and failing to stop for police at Suffolk Magistrates' Court.
Police were stationed in a gravelled parking area of Moulton Road at 11.11pm on December 30, when they saw Clancy's Peugeot 407 fishtail into view at speed.
Prosecutor Colette Harper said officers followed under lights and sirens as Clancy reached 65mph along Sackville Street, where a pedestrian had to press himself against a wall to avoid being hit.
He then entered Fordham Road and jumped a traffic light at the junction of Snailwell Road, before reaching 90mph in a 30mph zone.
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His three-minute getaway came to an end at the next roundabout, where his car clipped a kerb and crashed into a fence outside Tesco.
In custody, he was found to have 65 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - almost twice the 35mcg limit.
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Mrs Harper said: "It's only pure luck no one was injured."
Clancy, a former jockey, now an exercise rider for trainer John Gosden, was also convicted of an excess alcohol offence in 2001.
In a pre-sentence report, Clancy told the probation service he was appalled by his behaviour and wished to apologise.
He recalled feeling fit to drive after leaving a pub that evening, but said he panicked in a moment of madness when he saw police.
His behaviour was said to be linked to self-medicating the effects of past trauma on his mental health.
The court heard he was now seeking help for alcohol misuse, and counselling for struggles with mental health, having previously supported his family at the expense of his own wellbeing.
Barrister Matthew Edwards, mitigating, said the deaths of Clancy's grandmother and brother, and his sister's illness, had led to a course of self-destructive behaviour.
"He has battled significant personal tragedy," added Mr Edwards, who said Clancy's employer was supportive and had organised accommodation closer to the stables.
Clancy was handed a 14-week prison term, suspended for two years, with 40 days' rehabilitation activity. He was banned from driving for 20 months and will have to pass an extended re-test.
Inspector Gary Miller, from Bury St Edmunds roads and armed policing team, said: "Clancy's actions were highly irresponsible and he showed little or no concern for the potential impact of his actions, that could have caused complete devastation for other road users who were using the roads at the same time.
"On being seen by police, he tried to evade the officers, driving at up to 90mph in a 30mph limit, while almost twice the drink drive limit.
"It is incredibly lucky that no-one else was hurt or killed because of his selfish and dangerous driving. "