Man jailed after driving at 60mph to evade police
A BRICKLAYER has been sentenced to four months in prison after leading police on a 60mph chase along Victoria Avenue last month.
Simon Bates (33), originally from Liverpool, was said to have initially caught the attention of two police officers when, on 4 May, he drove the wrong way down Wharf Street and the wrong way down Conway Street before turning right onto the Esplanade.
Centenier Tony Batho told the court how the officers, who were on foot, shouted at Bates to stop on two occasions before he proceeded to drive westbound down the Esplanade on the wrong side of the road towards Victoria Avenue.
PC Gray was in his car at the time and began following Bates’ white Suzuki van which sped down the dual-carriageway and through red lights at the junction of Rue de Galet – near the Old Station Café.
Mr Batho added that the officer then activated his blue lights – which the defendant did not respond to – and subsequently his sirens and pursued Bates at over 60mph.
The defendant later pulled in to a bus stop opposite the Mark Jordan at the Beach restaurant where he let a passenger out. He then continued driving for a short distance before he got out and tried to hide behind a slipway.
However, after trying to escape on foot on the beach he was arrested and the court was told that he ‘smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor’.
The court heard that at police headquarters, Bates refused to provide a specimen of breath but during interview, said that he had been at Tiki Hut and admitted drinking ‘too much to drive’. He also revealed that the van was owned by his employer but he was fully insured to drive it.
Advocate Luke Sette, defending, called on the court to impose a term of community service adding that his client had already spent three weeks in custody and had not been before a court for ten years.
He also said that his client had come to Jersey 12 weeks ago from Wales – where he had a five-year-old child and a pregnant wife, who was expected to give birth to their second child in October.
‘My client is a bricklayer and has a strong employment history – he recognises that he seriously risks jeopardising matters for his family,’ he said.
‘He has had a misspent youth but he does have ten years where he has been working and has been trying to provide for his family.
‘He has £800 in his account which he says he wants to use to get accommodation to find employment and hopes to go up to a job site to visit contractors and he tells me he is confident he can get work. I am confident he will comply with any community service order.’
However, Relief Magistrate Nuno Santos-Costa, said that a custodial sentence was unavoidable.
‘The situation of not trying to be caught led you to drive in a dangerous manner at very high speed. Although 60mph may not be dangerous elsewhere, it is in a small Island like Jersey,’ he said.
‘You were clearly intoxicated and failed to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.
‘It is apparent you have faced difficulty in your life but that does not allow me to defer from the court’s policy on these matters and a custodial sentence is therefore inevitable.’