Speeding driver in 17-mile chase is spared prison
AMAN who led police on an hourlong 17-mile car chase has walked free from court.
Lee Gardener, 31, drove at speeds of 60mph through Macclesfield town centre and the wrong way down a dual carriageway during the pursuit, a court heard.
Police even aborted their chase into Macclesfield because they feared someone would get hurt.
But tenacious officers caught up with Gardener again after lying in wait at Monks Heath on the A34 where he reappeared in the Renault Clio.
Gardener continued to try to escape and police deployed a stinger device in Wilmslow.
Despite two deflated tyres Gardener drove the wrong way down the A34 before being boxed in by police, which he rammed in a last-gasp attempt to avoid arrest.
Gardener, of Solway Road, Wythenshawe, admitted two charges of dangerous driving, two charges failing to stop when required by police, using a car without insurance and possession of cannabis.
At Chester Crown Court he was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years. He was given an electronic tag, curfew, ordered to complete 20 days rehabilitation activity and banned from driving for three years.
At a previous hearing, prosecutor Debbie Byrne said the incident happened between 11.30pm on August 3 and 12.30am on August 4.
She said: “It was only through luck Gardener didn’t seriously injure someone. He failed to stop in Marton and accelerated to 50mph in a 30 zone. He crossed double white lines and reached 60mph in a 40 at Gawsworth, and then hit 60mph into Macclesfield, overtaking three cars.
“He went through a red light on Chestergate, and another on Park Green. The pursuit was aborted but the officer went to Monks Heath. Minutes later at 12.04am the Renault passed and accelerated to 60mph.
“At Wilmslow north he lost control and hit a curb. The stinger was deployed and deflated two tyres.
“On the A34 he heads north on the southbound carriageway before doing a U-turn into Brook Lane. Police box him in, all the while Gardener tried to ram police out of the way.”
Gardener told police he went for a drive to clear his head after a row with his partner.
Mrs Byrne added: “He knew the more he drove the more trouble he was in – but that fear kept him going.”
‘It was only through luck that he didn’t injure someone’