A drug driver led police on a 60mph chase near a hospital then ploughed into a taxi and a garden wall.
Peter Thomas took cocaine and cannabis before getting behind the wheel of his red Jaguar, despite not having a licence or insurance.
The convicted drug dealer – who has 21 past convictions for 51 offences – said he bought the old car intending to “do it up and sell it”.
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But instead of doing it up the 48-year-old smashed it up and also wrote off the private hire car of his victim, who had to be cut out of the wreck.
Liverpool Crown Court heard a police officer spotted the “old red Jaguar” in Lovely Lane, Warrington, at around 8pm, on April 20 this year.
Olivia Cristinacce-Travis, prosecuting, said the officer had previous dealings involving the car so followed it into Warrington Hospital car park.
Checks revealed the car didn’t have insurance or an MOT, before Thomas accelerated onto “a small road that runs around the hospital and is mainly used for patients and visitors crossing between the car park and the actual hospital itself”.
Thomas overtook cars at speed before he failed to give way and joined Priestley Street, then went through red lights and hit 60mph in a 30mph residential zone.
Ms Cristinacce-Travis said he overtook more cars on Froghall Lane, then turned onto Bewsey Road and reached 50 or 60mph.
He went through a red light as he joined Lovely Lane and crashed into a silver Toyota Prius, colliding with the front driver side.
Ms Cristinacce-Travis said this caused Thomas to “lose control and swerve down the street for some distance”.
She said the Jaguar mounted a pavement and hit a garden wall, taking out metal gates and a fence, before Thomas fled.
Photos shown in court revealed the destruction, which the landlord of the property said cost around £1,000 to repair.
Ms Cristinacce-Travis said he “jumped” over a 7ft fence, but was caught by witness Joshua Aspinall, who restrained him without a fight, and he was arrested.
She said Thomas tested positive for cocaine and cannabis on a roadside drug wipe and, after being treated at hospital for injuries from the crash, was taken into custody, where “blood samples were taken eventually”.
They showed 67mg of the cocaine breakdown product benzoylecgonine per litre of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.
He had 2.5mg of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – per litre of blood. The legal limit is 2mg.
The taxi driver, a Mr Siewe, whose first name wasn’t given in court, had to be cut out of his vehicle and taken to hospital.
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He suffered whiplash, was later referred for physiotherapy and prescribed painkillers, and described having neck pain and lower back discomfort, which was made worse by sitting.
No victim statement or information about his loss of earnings was provided, but his £11,000 Toyota was written off and he had to pay a £500 excess on his insurance.
Thomas, of Museum Street, Warrrington, admitted dangerous driving, two offences of drug driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving without a licence and insurance.
The court heard he was jailed for three years and four months for Class A drug dealing in 2016.
Sarah Griffin, defending, urged the judge to spare him jail, as recommended in a Probation Service pre-sentence report.
She said his remorse was clearly shown in the report and he had also been affected by what he described as “the mess he’s created”.
Ms Griffin said her client was of “limited means” and bought the Jaguar to “do it up and sell it”, with the help of a friend who could do the work.
She said that day he went to pay a woman who had allowed him to keep the car on the path outside her home, but she told him to move it.
The lawyer told the court Thomas then made a “very foolish decision” to drive the car.
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She said he had since stopped using drugs with the help of the organisation Pathways To Recovery and was now only on a methadone script.
Ms Griffin said also being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour had caused Thomas to “re-evaluate his life” and he was on co-codamol for this and sleeping tablets because of the prospect of being sent to prison.
The judge, Recorder Paul Taylor, said Thomas made “a disastrous error of judgement, which has had terrible consequences”.
He said Thomas knew he had “no right to be on the road” but in an effort to escape police ran two red lights before the smash.
Your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment.
They may offer you treatment at the practice or refer you to your local drug service.
If you’re not comfortable talking to your GP, you can approach your local drug treatment service yourself.
Visit the Frank website to find local drug treatment services.
If you’re having trouble finding the right sort of help, call the Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600. They can talk you through all your options.
The judge told him: “You ran off but a witness Mr Joshua Aspinall behaved in a public spirited manner for which he is to be commended. He plainly decided you should not get away with it.”
Recorder Taylor accepted Thomas was remorseful, had “serious medical problems” and also anxiety and depression.
However, he said it wasn’t appropriate to spare him jail because of “the level of danger your driving created and the harm you actually caused”.
The judge jailed Thomas for eight months and banned him from the road for 16 months.
He added that Mr Aspinall should be commended and paid £250 from public funds.
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