Speed­ing driver in 17-mile chase is spared prison

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - STU­ART GREER

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’

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