Jail for drink driver who who forced Bourne police chase

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A drink driver raced through the streets of Bourne at up to 70mph in a bid to evade pursuing police, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Friday).

Michael Gutteridge (48), who only had a provisional driving licence, ignored a request to stop and went through a red traffic light as he sped away.

Gutteridge had over 50 previous convictions for driving offences including offences of reckless driving, drink driving and driving while disqualified

Edna Leonard, prosecuting, said that Gutteridge had attracted the attention of police after his vehicle triggered an automatic number plate recognition camera which identified him as possibly driving without supervision.

Miss Leonard said: “He turned left on to Abbey Road, ignoring the blue flashing lights of the police car.

“He was travelling at 50mph an hour in a 30 limit.”

She told the court that Gutteridge continued onto Cherry Holt Road where a lorry driver was forced to brake sharply to avoid a collision. He reached 70 mph, still in a 30 limit area, and then overtook on a blind bend, forcing a number of other motorists to take evasive action.

Police pursued Gutteridge onto the A15 and followed him to a nearby village where he stopped. He failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 61 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath making him almost twice the legal limit of 35 mgs.

Miss Leonard added: “When he was interviewed he made full and frank admissions. He admitted he only had a provisional licence. He said he saw the police and decided not to stop.”

The court heard that Gutteridge had been out of trouble for 10 years but had over 50 previous convictions for driving offences including offences of reckless driving, drink driving and driving while disqualified.

Gutteridge, Almond Court, Thurlby, admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol, dangerous driving and driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence, as a result of the incident on August 14.

Nenad Spasojevic, in mitigation, urged that Gutteridge should be given a suspended jail sentence to allow him to continue to care for his partner who suffers from ill-health.

He said: “All of his previous convictions are of some age and in excess of a decade ago which shows that Mr Gutteridge is capable of living a law abiding life.

“He know that an immediate custodial penalty looms but I would urge the court to step back from that course solely because of the significant and substantial effect that will have on his common law wife.

“Mr Gutteridge is the full-time, sole carer for her. She suffers from severe epilepsy and severe depression. She is due to go into hospital shortly for a replacement knee operation. Mr Gutteridge cleans and does all of the household chores. he does the shopping and his presence is vital in case of her having a fit. Those fits happen on a regular basis. There are no others. There is no-one who can replace Mr Gutteridge in what he does.”

Judge Michael Heath rejected the plea for leniency. He jailed Gutteridge for 12 months and banned him from driving for three years.

The Judge told Gutteridge: “When you realised the police were after you, you panicked and sought to avoid them.

“You embarked upon a deliberate, prolonged course of bad driving which involved a police pursuit. You drove at grossly excessive speeds, reaching 70mph at one stage.”