Drug driver from Preston found hiding in wheelie bin by Blackpool Police

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A drug driver was tracked down hiding in a wheelie bin by the police helicopter after fleeing from officers.

A blood test then showed learner driver Steven Crook had cocaine and a drug by-product of cocaine in his system.

Crook, a 26-year-old customer services executive, of Grange Place, Preston, pleaded guilty to two offences of drug driving, an offence of driving without insurance and not driving in accordance with his provisional licence.

He was banned from the road for 12 months, fined £205 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor Martine Connah, said on May 7 at 1.30am police saw Crook in a Peugeot which was straddling the centre line at traffic lights in Blackpool’s Starr Gate.

On seeing police Crook and a passenger ran from the car and fled. The force helicopter was deployed in the search and found Crook hiding inside a wheelie bin on Fletcher Road.

A blood test showed 52 units of cocaine in his blood - the legal limit is 10.

It also showed 800 units of Benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine - the limit is 50.

Adam Whittaker, defending, said a couple of months previously his client’s father had died suddenly.

Crook had dealt with his father’s death very badly and started taking drugs with other people.

He had been driving a friend home when they saw the police. The friend had panicked and ran, so he did too, court heard.