Man sentenced years later

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A SUCCESSFUL businessman has been sent to jail – over offences carried out in the Blackpool area nearly six years ago.

Steven Brown had originally been convicted in his absence of dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop when directed by police in May 2005 – but believed the case against him had been dropped.

Preston Crown Court heard he had relocated to Alicante, Spain, where he was running a hotel.

He was arrested on warrant last November while visiting the UK.

The court was told the driving incident covered a distance of roughly four miles and ended with him crashing a Mercedes into the side of a house.

Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, said there was some sort of dispute with a neighbour and police went to the defendant's address that evening in May 2005.

Brown was later said to have driven off in the Mercedes parked outside, his then partner voluntarily going along with him as passenger.

The journey started in Poulton where he drove at an alarming speed, going through a red light at a junction on Garstang Road West.

He later drove back in the direction from which he had come, on Blackpool Old Road, before turning into Mowbray Drive.

A police vehicle with blue flashing lights tried to stop him. His passenger claimed it was like he was "playing chicken" with the police.

Brown then lost control, demolished a road sign and hit the side of a house.

He ran off into Kingfisher Drive and was found by the police.

The woman passenger had facial injuries.

When arrested, Brown said: "It's okay. I'm coming quietly."

A breath test showed he was nearly twice over the drink drive limit.

Julie Taylor, defending, said: "He simply thought the case wasn't to be proceeded with and therefore did not attend court."

Brown relocated to Spain, but regularly flew back to Britain.

Recorder Andrew Nuttall said: "I haven't the slightest doubt in my mind that only a custodial sentence is appropriate."

The 44-year-old was sentenced to 17 months jail, banned from driving for three years and must take an extended retest.