West Rainton motorist fearing third driving ban tried to out-pace police patrol car (From The Advertiser Series)
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West Rainton motorist fearing third driving ban tried to out-pace police patrol car
A MOTORIST who feared being banned from the roads if breathalysed tried to outpace a pursuing police car.
But Paul Bailes’ three-and-a-half minute high-speed escapade in and around his home village of West Rainton, near Durham, landed him behind bars for the first time and earned him a driving disqualification.
Durham Crown Court heard that Bailes, the sole occupant of a Renault Megane, came to police attention as he was not wearing a seat belt, when spotted on the A690 near West Rainton, at about 9pm on July 2.
He ignored the patrol car’s flashing blue lights and accelerated, as he turned into the village, in wet conditions.
Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said, during the pursuit, Bailes reached speeds peaking at 75mph on roads through West Rainton, including a country lane leading to neighbouring Leamside.
Bailes took bends on the wrong side of the road, shot across junctions and, at one point, two pedestrians had to take avoiding action on a narrow lane.
The chase ended when Bailes pulled up in a cul-de-sac off Woodland View and ran off on foot.
Mr O’Brien said he was found hiding behind a wall and arrested.
He acknowledged he had been “stupid” and told police he feared being pulled over as he had drunk “a pint” at a local pub and had already served two previous driving bans.
Bailes, 31, of Fair View, West Rainton, admitted dangerous driving.
Ros Scott Bell, mitigating, told the court: “He can’t really explain why he drove as he did and didn't simply stop, as he should.
“He’s ashamed and astonished at the manner of his driving.”
Imposing an eight-month prison sentence, Judge Christopher Prince told Bailes: “It seems you feared a third drink driving conviction and sought to avoid being disqualified.
“It was a time when you might expect to come across other vehicles and it was a matter of extreme good fortune you didn’t maim or kill other road users.
“You were tearing around on village roads and country lanes at grossly excessive speeds, taking blind corners, tearing past two pedestrians who had to press themselves against a hedge at the side of the road to avoid being hit.
“The risk of you hitting pedestrians or other vehicles was extremely high.
“The message has to go out. Those who engage in chases with the police must expect to go to prison.”
Judge Prince also banned Bailes from driving for a year.
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