Motorist in pursuit feared breath test

A man who tried to speed away from police during a 20-minute chase covering nine miles has been spared jail.

Motorist in pursuit feared breath test

Paul Cartner thought he might have been over the drink drive limit when police tried to stop him while he was driving his Mercedes van at just after midnight on May 17.

So when they illuminated their blue lights and sounded their sirens he raced off, driving on the wrong side of the road at speeds of up to 80 miles an hour.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Shrewsbury Crown Court on Friday that police officers first noticed Cartner in his van when it raced past them at 55mph in a 40mph zone on the Shawbury to Telford road.

"The police lights were put on and the vehicle came to a stop," said Mr Jones.

"But as the officer began to go for his door, the vehicle drove off through Shawbury. The police officer activated the sirens and gave chase.

"The vehicle was travelling at 80mph and the officer was unable to gain on him as it was dangerous because the road twists and turns."

Mr Jones explained that the chase carried on through Walton, into High Ercall and then on to Longdon-on-Tern.

"In Leegomery the Mercedes van turned into a dead end and the driver was chased down by officers," he said.

"He was arrested at just before 1am."

For Cartner, Michael Sherwood-Smith, said that the defendant had been facing family problems and had gone for a drive to clear his head.

"He had been out for a drink and meal," he said.

"He thought he was over the limit although when he was arrested he was tested and found to be under."

Cartner, of Brookside Gardens, Yockleton, near Shrewsbury, was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop for a police officer, failing to drive in accordance with his driving licence and having no insurance.

He admitted the charges at an earlier hearing.

Judge Robin Onions, sentencing Cartner, told him he had shown a "very bad example of dangerous driving" but added: "You are decent, hardworking man trying to do his best. It is tempting to imprison you but that would be a hardship for your wife and children. Next time you will not be so lucky."

Cartner was sentenced to 14 months' jail suspended for two years. He also has to complete 200 hours' unpaid work and a 12-month supervision order.

He was ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £1,135 and was disqualified from driving for two years.

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