A serial drink-driver in a Jaguar who led police on a 90mph chase around residential streets and raced through a red light has been jailed.
The early morning pursuit of Brian Horton, 37, lasted for 20 minutes before he was arrested near his home in Hartlepool after losing control of the car.
If you continue drinking and driving you are going to kill either yourself of someone else.Recorder Michael Slater
He failed a roadside breath-test before it was found that he was a disqualified driver with two previous convictions for drink driving. The judge in the case said Horton’s driving was “appallingly dangerous”.
Prosecutor Emma Atkinson told Teesside Crown Court that at 1.05am on Friday, July 24, police were made aware that there was a man who was extremely drunk outside a takeaway in York Road, Hartlepool.
Horton got into his Jaguar and he drove towards Raby Road.
The police driver switched on his flashing blue lights, but Horton failed to stop.
Instead he switched off his lights and he made off at least at 60mph.
Miss Atkinson said: “There was smoke and dust coming from his tyres, and there was a screech as he took corners.
“He travelled at speed along Raby Road towards traffic lights which were on red, overtaking vehicles which were stationary and he drove through the lights turning left.
“He drove off at high speed swerving from left to right, and the police officer said he was surprised he did not hit any parked vehicles driving in excess of 90mph.”
The officer lost sight of him because of the speed at which he was driving.
During the pursuit Horton drove into Powlett Road and the Jaguar fishtailed as it turned a corner and drove onto King Oswy Drive at 90mph.
He lost control of the car on the Clavering estate.
He was stopped at 1.25am after a 20-minute pursuit and he was found to be under the influence of drink. He told the officer he was looking for his Jaguar car claiming that it had been stolen. The keys to the car were found discarded nearby.
He gave a breath-test reading of 84 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, where the legal limit is 35.
Miss Atkinson said the maximum sentence for dangerous driving is two years jail and for excess alcohol it is six months jail.
She said Horton had been convicted of dangerous driving before in 1997 when he was disqualified until he passed an extended driving test.
He was banned in October 2013 for three years for two offences of excess alcohol which was still in force.
Paul Newcombe, defending, said a pre-sentence report suggested a suspended sentence order with rehab sessions.
He said: “I accept from the outset, as did the defendant, that to adopt that would be a merciful course because of the horrifying description of the driving.”
He said that Horton had been drinking before hearing that his missing 14-year-old daughter had been traced to an address, and he got into his car to buy her some food before collecting her.
He said that Horton had been on medication for anxiety and depression, and he panicked when he saw the police car.
The judge Recorder Michael Slater told him: “Your driving was appallingly dangerous, and there is no getting away from that.
“If you continue drinking and driving you are going to kill either yourself of someone else.”
Horton, unemployed, of King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified for 42 months after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, excess alcohol, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for an officer and no insurance.