90mph chase terror through Blackpool

John Maughan

John Maughan

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A car thief claims he led police on a dangerous 90mph chase through Blackpool on purpose – to be sent back to custody to get help for his drug addiction.

John Maughan, 38, of Derbe Road, St Annes, was jailed for 20 months and banned from the road for six years at Preston’s Sessions House court after a judge heard he sped on the wrong side of the road and also clipped a police car.

Officers saw the vehicle in the Blackpool area from time to time but on each occasion the driver evaded apprehension

He also turned his lights off and deliberately sped through a Give Way sign in the terrifying pursuit.

He admitted charges of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Susan Carter, prosecuting, said: “A Fiesta was taken from the driveway of the owner at an address in Blackpool at 4pm on November 27. It was reported as stolen.

“Officers saw the vehicle in the Blackpool area from time to time but on each occasion the driver evaded apprehension.

“It was next seen at 2.10am when the events of the dangerous driving took place. The car was seen on Clifton Drive North and officers involved started to follow the vehicle.

“It was seen travelling at about 80mph. There was a passenger on board. It was heading towards the Pleasure Beach at those speeds.

“ The officer says it was a wide residential road subject to a 30mph limit. There was no traffic fortunately, but the road was still damp from earlier rain.

“The defendant drove on the wrong side of the road, turning right at a junction and almost losing control as it drove onto Withnell Road.”

She described the vehicle colliding with the police car at a bend in the road adding: “ The officer believed it was a deliberate attempt to disable the police vehicle. There was little damage to both vehicles.

“The chase continued at high speeds of up to 90mph in a 30mph zone and at one particular junction the defendant turned out his lights at a give way point. He accelerated hard without giving way.

“Shortly after that they disembarked and he was found hiding in a wheelie bin nearby.”

Maughan, who sat stooped forward with his head in his hands in the dock, has 30 convictions for 122 offences, the court heard.

Rachel Woods, defending, said: “It occurred at a time when fortunately there were no other road users and so while there was a potential for danger to pedestrians it so happens there was no-one.

“The defendant has had difficult issues with drugs and was only recently released from a previous sentence. He had been working with the Revolution team to address his issues.

“On the day in question he had made number of attempts to contact officers as he could foresee himself slipping back.

“Fearing he would cause serious injury by further drug abuse he committed these offences in the hope he would be remanded in custody

“This was a mechanism which would result in his incarceration, which has resulted in him becoming drug free. He didn’t resort to methadone, he resorted to the cold turkey method and is waiting to be transferred to the recovery wing.

Judge Simon Newell said: “I take on board the circumstances in which you say this offence was committed. I’m somewhat sceptical about the nature and motivation for it, nevertheless it has resulted in the activation of your licence recall until February 2017.”