Drugged up driver from Blackpool panicked when he saw police and sparked fast motorway pursuit

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A drugged-up driver fled at speed when he spotted a police car - which was actually lying in wait for the vehicle behind him.

Phillip Slingsby accelerated away in his Mercedes when the officers activated their blue lights wrongly thinking they were after him and consequently they began to pursue him.

The lengthy dangerous high speed motorway driving that followed has now landed the Blackpool man in court and he only narrowly avoided going straight to jail.

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Liverpool Crown Court heard that 53-year-old Slingsby, of Westfield Road, has 31 convictions for 63 offences including two others for dangerous driving.

Liverpool Crown CourtLiverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

He was jailed for one of those dangerous driving offences last November and was also put behind bars in January this year for drug driving.

Louise Santamera, prosecuting, said that the incident happened on November 28 2022 when two constables were by Switch Island at the end of the M57 at Maghull at 10.16 pm as part of a planned stop operation.

A silver Mercedes was in front of the target vehicle and when they put on their blue lights the Mercedes “unexpectedly accelerated away. They followed and Slingsby reached 100 mph and the officers decided on safety reasons to stop their pursuit.

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“Checks revealed the car was registered and insured to a female in the Blackpool area and he was named as a driver,” said Miss Santamera.

They assumed the driver would try to reach Blackpool and at 10.40 pm the Mercedes was seen on the M58 at 70 mph and a police car followed it when it turned off at junction 3 where a marked police car was waiting.

On seeing it Slingsby re-joined the east-bound carriageway of the motorway and the police car with its lights and sirens activated as the car swerved from lane to lane and accelerated to 90 mph.

When it reached the next roundabout it was stopped and the defendant was detained. He told officers that he had taken someone to collect her car and when he saw the police he panicked.

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Drugged up driver panicked when he saw police and sparked fast motorway pursuitDrugged up driver panicked when he saw police and sparked fast motorway pursuit
Drugged up driver panicked when he saw police and sparked fast motorway pursuit | Merseyside Police

Miss Santamera said that a roadside swipe tested positive for a high level of cocaine in his system.

53-year-old Slingsby pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and is to be sentenced at a later date by magistrates for drug driving.

Kyra Badman, defending, pointed out that the incident was quite a while ago and that since his last conviction he has been engaging well with the probation services.

He is no longer using heroin or cocaine and has been providing negative blood tests. “He has voluntarily attended the Horizon project to deal with his addiction.”

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Sentencing him Recorder Richard Conley said that the offence justified a significant term of imprisonment as it was a “deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road and showed disregard to the risk to others.”

“It could scarcely be higher in terms of culpability,” he added.

But he continued, “There is some glimmer of hope for your future” and he had come out of prison with a better attitude and working with a drug rehabilitation programme.

“I am not going to be the one to set you back to square one,” said the judge.

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He sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 40 days rehabilitation activities. He also disqualified him from driving for two years and ordered him to take an extended driving re-test.

Recorder Conley added, “It would be better for everybody if you found another way to travel.”