A MOTORIST with a crack cocaine addiction drove at more than twice the speed limit as he fled from the police late at night.

Ryan Langcake, 31, committed the offence at 10.30pm on October 14 last year after a police officer in an unmarked car spotted his VW Golf emerging from a junction near Broughton Moor, Carlisle Crown Court.

As the officer followed, the defendant sped away, at times reaching speeds of more than 90mph. He also raced through residential areas – including Seaton – at more than twice the 30mph speed limit, the court heard. 

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The defendant, of Far Moss, Northside, Workington, admitted dangerous driving.

He was jailed for 20 weeks.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, outlined how Langcake was clearly determined to escape from the police that evening as he drove initially along the A596, accelerating into the distance and reachying more than 90mph.

Dashcam footage showed the pursuing police car at one point reaching 98mph. In Seaton village – a heavily residential area – Langcake’s car was seen to be travelling at 70mph, despite the 30mph limit.

The police officer eventually lost the defendant's car. 

When police later caught up with Langcake, he claimed that at the time he had sold the car and it was not him driving.

Outlining Langcake’s offending history, Mr Evans said his previous offences included dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking in 2008, driving over the limit, and failing to provide a breath specimen. He had also previously been convicted of driving while disqualified.

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Anthony Parkinson, defending, said: “What has not been completely obvious is the extent of his drug problem. This has been a serious addiction to crack cocaine, which has caused much of his offending over the last year.”

The second relevant factor, said the barrister, was that the dangerous driving before the court was not the most serious example of this crime.

As shown by the police dashcam footage, it has lasted only 90 seconds. It was the factor of Langcake reaching excessive speeds in residential areas that meant this was an offence of dangerous driving.

But there had been no collision and no injury. Mr Parkinson added: “When somebody is suffering with the addiction he has, it is not like flicking a switch on and off. It’s going to take time. He says he’s going to try to turn his life around.”

As he passed sentence, Recorder David Temkin QC noted that background reports suggested a “lack of motivation” from the defendant to address his behaviour and “poor levels of engagement.”

He had also shown a "complete disregard" for an earlier attempt to put him through drug rehabilitation. “Crack cocaine was a drug you were abusing regularly and in a way that was out of control,” said the judge.

The offence was so serious that only immediate custody was appropriate,” said the Recorder, adding: “I can’t suspend the sentence. There is little or no prospect of rehabilitation.”

As well as imposing the jail term, the Recorder imposed a three-year driving ban, specifying that Langcake must pass an extended retest before he can drive independently again.

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