Suspended prison sentence for dangerous drink driver
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A drink driver who drove dangerously through the streets of Northampton in a failed attempt to evade arrest has been and disqualified from driving for three years.
However, 24-year-old Connor Newton was spared jailed for his seven minutes of recklessness in the early hours of Sunday, November 12 last year, which saw him reach speeds of 80mph in a 30mph zone.
Officers from Northamptonshire Police’s Roads Policing Team were on patrol at about 3.40am, when they observed the poor driving behaviour of Newton as he drove along Bedford Road before turning into Booth Lane.
After a short distance, officers signalled to Newton to stop but instead of pulling over, he sped off, reaching speeds of up to 80mph along Booth Lane North, where he overshot the junction with Kettering Road and crashed on to a grass verge.
Despite clearly damaging the BMW, which now had smoke coming from its nearside, Newton drove off back down Booth Lane North, once again driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit, and in an erratic manner.
After driving the wrong way around the roundabout junction with Grange Road, Newton lost control of the vehicle again, this time spinning several times before coming to rest next to a bus stop.
With the front bumper now hanging off and a deflated front tyre, Newton still refused to stop, and he headed along St Gregory’s Road towards Lumbertubs Way, struggling to control the vehicle as it drifted towards the kerb.
As he continued to attempt to escape capture, Newton reversed the BMW – which he had borrowed from a friend – twice into the pursuing police cars causing damage, and once he’d reached Lumbertubs Way, he drove on the wrong side of the road against the oncoming traffic.
Newton, of Barnwell Road, Northampton, eventually ran from the vehicle into nearby bushes where he was arrested. In custody, he provided an evidential breath sample of 40 micrograms – the legal drink drive limit which is 35mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – and subsequently charged.
He appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court on November 13 last year, where he pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle while over the prescribed limit of alcohol as well as driving dangerously, failing to stop for police officers and driving without insurance.
Due to the offence being deemed so serious, Newton’s case was sent to Northampton Crown Court for sentencing, and on Thursday, January 4, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for 21 months, disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay £85 court costs and £187 victim surcharge.
Following sentencing, PC Michael Hollowell of the Roads Policing Team, said: “Seven minutes of pure stupidity and sheer recklessness by Connor Newton was totally irresponsible and not welcome on our roads.
“It was more by luck than judgement that his actions did not cause a serious collision. He not only put his own life at risk but that of his passenger and the innocent road users, who were faced with Newton driving towards them on the wrong side of the carriageway.
“Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads remains the priority for Northamptonshire Police and our partners at the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, and I’m pleased the courts have dealt with this driver robustly.”
Tragically in 2022, after being involved in a road collision in Northamptonshire, 36 people never returned home safely to their loved ones, and 347 required urgent medical assistance for serious and life-changing injuries.