Cocaine-user drove wrong way down A57 in bid to escape police
A 'reckless' driver in possession of over four grams of cocaine, who drove the wrong way up the A57 in Sheffield in a bid to evade police during a high-speed chase, has been spared jail.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Jesse Allen, 27, was on a trip to buy baby milk when police officers stopped him to look at his car, which was parked half on the road and half on the pavement just after midnight on February 23 this year.
The court heard how when one of the officers went back to his patrol car to carry out a vehicle check Allen, of Alpina Way, Swallownest sped off along Skipton Road causing the officers to begin pursuing him.
He moved on to Chesterfield Road, and then to the A57 where it is estimated he was travelling at speeds of up to 70mph - 20 miles above the legal limit set for that road.
Prosecuting barrister, Carl Fitch, told the court how after initially losing police, when officers managed to catch up with him again he drove over a central reservation nearby and began travelling the wrong way down the A57.
Mr Fitch said: "The defendant, having seen that [the police cars] veered in to the road, crashed into traffic lights near to the central reservation. When he gained control he started travelling down the wrong way down the A57."
The police chase finally came to an end after around 14 minutes, and Allen was arrested.
When he was searched by police Allen was found to have 4.24grams of cocaine in his possession, split into six lots, worth £40 each - which he told officers was for 'personal' use.
Defending, Richard Jepson told the court that Allen acknowledged his offending, at the point of arrest.
He said: "The reason this happened was because his partner asked him to get some baby milk. The vehicle he was driving was his father-in-law's and his insurance on the vehicle lapsed just a few days before this took place."
Mr Jepson continued by telling the court Allen decided to flee the scene in a moment of 'panic' due to being worried police would discover the cocaine in his possession.
Jepson pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving, one count of failing to stop when ordered to by police officers, possession of cocaine and driving without insurance at an earlier hearing.
Sentencing Allen to 12 months in prison, suspended for a year, Recorder David Preston said: "You drove catastrophically, recklessly.
"You could have caused serious injuries to yourself or someone else."