Drink-drive boy racer in 90mph chase spared jail
ABOY racer who was chased through the streets of Accrington while nearly twice the legal drinking limit has been spared jail.
Robert Lesley Bell reached speeds of more than 70mph in 30mph zones and required police to travel at 90mph to catch up with him, Burnley Crown Court heard.
The 20-year-old apprentice had drunk beer and spirits earlier in the evening after ‘struggling to cope’ with the end of a relationship, the hearing was told.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court how officers spotted Bell’s Vauxhall Corsa on Dunkenhalgh Way near to the Dill Hall Lane junction at around 10.45pm on July 6 this year.
After seeing the police, Bell drove through a red light to try and escape them and then sped along Hyndburn Road at more than 70mph before making ‘swift manoeuvres’ onto Milnshaw Lane, Argyle Street and Westwood street.
Mr Parker said officers lost sight of Bell for ‘several minutes’ before later seeing him being chased by a Ford Focus.
The court heard how Bell had reportedly ‘collided’ with the Focus and the driver had ‘given chase to try and apprehend him’.
Bell then ‘mounted the pavement’ on Plantation Street to evade officers for a second time before his car was eventually found parked near his home.
When Bell was breathalysed he recorded a level of 65mg of alcohol per 100ml.
The legal drink driving limit is 35mg.
Bell, of Manor Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink driving and was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 100 hours unpaid work.
He was also disqualified from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended re-test.
Recorder John Jones QC said it was a ‘dangerous and disgraceful piece of driving’.
Sentencing, he said: “You knew when you got behind the wheel that you were over the limit. Nonetheless you continued to drive.
“The responsible thing to do was stop but you continued to drive. You drove into residential streets with cars parked on both sides. The court takes the most serious view of dangerous driving. You caused serious potential harm.”
Recorder Jones QC said sending Bell to prison would have a ‘devastating effect in his life’.