Shropshire Star

'He was having a diabetic episode': Man who fled police in stolen car at 70mph is spared jail

A man who drove a stolen car at speeds of up to 70mph along quiet residential streets while being chased by police has been spared jail.

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Lance Butters, aged 42, had no licence, was uninsured and was out of prison on licence for a previous burglary when he was spotted behind the wheel of the stolen two-litre Vauxhall diesel car on May 31, 2021, Shrewsbury Crown Court has heard.

Butters of Forest Way, Shrewsbury, admitted one count of dangerous driving at an earlier hearing before magistrates, but Judge Anthony Lowe heard on Monday that the defendant was not prosecuted for stealing the car, driving without insurance or a licence, due to delays in interviewing Butters in prison during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Mr John Oates, prosecuting, said Butters, who the court heard had 75 previous convictions to his name, including for a previous offence of dangerous driving, was spotted by an unmarked police car at 10.03pm on the night in question in Shrewsbury.

He told the court: “Police officers on duty in an unmarked vehicle were made aware a stolen vehicle had activated ANPR cameras.”

He said the officers had “lay in wait” for the suspected stolen car, which passed them shortly afterwards.

“They followed the vehicle without disclosing their identification but unfortunately a marked police vehicle appeared and was seen by the vehicle, which sped off," added Mr Oates.