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Drunk and banned driver crashed into hedge during north Cumbria police chase

William Young

A DRUNK and repeatedly banned driver who ploughed into a hedge at the end of a police pursuit has been jailed and banned from getting behind the wheel for at more than a decade.

Carlisle Crown Court heard William Henry Young, 43, had been punished for disqualified driving on a shocking seven previous occasions before a chase got underway near Longtown at around 11-15am on June 15.

Police initially found Young behind the wheel of a Peugeot car on a side road off the A7 having been tipped off about apparent erratic driving.

Young ignored appeals for him to pull over and then, after a PC exited a patrol car, accelerated away and joined the main road. Other officers traced him to road works at a bridge in nearby Longtown, where he remained stationary at a green light and then set off when the signal turned red.

Dash cam footage captured Young dramatically weaving from side to side, and travelling on the opposite carriageway approaching a blind bend. Pursuing police hit 70mph-plus before he veered left and crashed into a hedge and tree. When removed from the car, intoxicated Young said to an officer: “I will go to jail, won’t I?”

He later admitted disqualified driving – for the eighth time – dangerous driving, drink-driving having been more than three times the legal limit, and no insurance.

Jeff Smith, defending, said Young, of Kirkpatrick-Fleming, had drank heavily with other travelling community members after a cousin’s death. “I’m sure that Mr Young will not be offended when I say to the court I struggle to provide a rational and acceptable explanation for what took place that day,” said Mr Smith.

Recorder Michael Hayton QC jailed Young for two years, imposed a 12-year driving ban and ordered him to take an extended re-test. “You were too drunk to be out on the pavement walking, never mind behind the wheel of a car on a road,” said the judge. “I find it unlikely you will ever lawfully drive again, but I’m afraid the community has to be protected. This could have been a bad accident.”

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