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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Banned drink-driver led Cumbria police on car chase

A driver who led police on a high-speed chase has been given a suspended sentence.

Adam William Altham, 22, of Romany Way in Appleby, had previously admitted drink-driving, failing to stop for a police officer, using a car without insurance, driving while banned and taking a car without consent.

He was already disqualified for 20 months when, after drinking with friends, he decided to take one of their cars shortly before 4.40am on October 26.

Altham was spotted by police driving at speed through Penrith and when they turned on their blue flashing lights, he sped off going through two set of red lights to get away.

Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, said the officers had noted the car’s registration and it was traced to an address in Castlepark View in Appleby.

“It was found parked at the rear of the house at 5am,” he said. “The owner told them it had not been moved from the location.”

Mr Rogerson said that Altham admitted taking the car and he was given a roadside breath test. He said Altham said, ‘Yes, I know it was stupid. I lost my licence for drink driving in May’.”

Tests showed that there was 56mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mcg – and Altham had admitted that he had been at the address earlier and had joined the others who were drinking.

Mr Rogerson said: “He took the car for a drive, he took a girl with him, he was aware that he was disqualified from driving. He didn’t have permission.”

Altham had said he taken a “calculated risk” that there would be no other cars on the roads at the time.

Gordon Stables, in mitigation, said his client’ had behaved in “the most incredibly stupid manner” but since then there had been a considerable change in his attitude. He had been thrown out of the family home by his father as a result of the arrest.

Altham was given a total of four months in jail, suspended for 24 months, and was disqualified from driving for three years. He was also given a community order, with 12 months’ supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work, a three-month curfew order, between 8pm and 6am, and an £80 fine.

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