This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.
A drink-driver got behind the wheel of his car after drinking five pints in a pub before leading police on a terrifying high-speed chase through the city.
Graham Braithwaite mounted a kerb, sped through two red lights and overtook cars on the wrong side of the road during the five-minute pursuit.
At one point the 23-year-old crashed his Ford into a parked car and then reversed into the unmarked police car that was following him.
(Image: Martin Naylor)
And, at another stage, he was captured driving at 80mph down 30mph limit London Road in Alvaston. Brathwaite came to a stop in Shardlow Road after officers used their ”stinger” device to burst his tyres.
But Braithwaite, of Sunny Hill, has been spared an immediate prison term as he has no previous convictions and is “a thoroughly decent and hard-working young man”.
Handing him an eight-month prison term, suspended for two years at Derby Crown Court, Recorder Jason Macadam said: “This was a stupid case of behaviour that could have had tragic consequences.
“I have no doubt that the alcohol you drank affected your judgment and, in nine out of 10 cases for this offence, I could not do anything other than pass an immediate custodial sentence.
“But I am persuaded this was a one-off by you and won’t be repeated.
“I have read numerous references about you and they tell me that this incident aside you are a thoroughly decent and hard-working young man.”
Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said an unmarked police car spotted Braithwaite, of Baxter Square, driving in Stafford Street shortly after midnight on November 11 and the officer decided to follow him.
She said Braithwaite drove his car on to Friar Gate, Ford Street and then it hit a kerb and “reared up” before going on to Queen Street where the cop activated his blue lights.
Miss Joyce said: “The officer said the defendant’s car accelerated away hard and went on to Kedleston Road at such a speed the officer struggled to keep up with him.
“He then went on to West Avenue where he stopped and reversed into the police car before driving off again.”
Miss Joyce said the pursuit went on to Duffield Road, St Alkmund’s Way and Pride Park where Braithwaite accelerated to 70mph overtaking cars on the wrong side of the road.
She said: “He turned left on to London Road where his driving was getting more and more erratic. His vehicle passed Wickes at 80mph and jumped a second red light at speed.
“The police used tyre bursting equipment to bring him to a stop in Shardlow Road.”
(Image: Martin Naylor)
Miss Joyce said they then had to smash his driver’s side window to get him out and take him to the ground.
She said: “In interview he admitted he had been to a pub in Pride Park and had drank five pints before giving a friend a lift back to the city centre. He said he saw the police car and panicked.”
Braithwaite, who is studying on an access course in the hope of going to university later this year, blew two readings of 81 and 75 (micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath) with the legal limit being 35.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and criminal damage of the police car.
As well as the suspended sentence, he was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, pay £500 prosecution costs and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Recorder Macadam said: “This is your one chance, you can sell your car, I don’t see why the public should pay for your stupidity.”