Drink-driver drove at 110mph to escape

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A DRINK-driver who led police on a 110mph chase has avoided being sent to prison.

A judge told Joshua Stoggles that the best place for him would be in the Army, which he had applied to rejoin having previously served.

Stoggles, 21, of Worcester Close, Bury St Edmunds, had failed to stop for police in a car park at the rear of DeNiros nightclub in Newmarket at 4am on April 1, Ipswich Crown Court heard last Thursday.

Pursued by a police van, Stoggles drove his Ford Puma through the town at 70mph and was clocked at 110mph as he headed for Kentford.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Stoggles, who had two passengers in the car, turned off at Risby with a police car still in pursuit but immediately rejoined the A14 until turning off at Fornham St Martin.

Mr Crimp said that as Stoggles moved on to minor roads police decided to end the chase for safety, but then another patrol car saw Stoggles stop and run off. Officers followed footprints and found him hiding in a field. Tests showed that he had twice the legal level of alcohol in his blood.

The court heard police had been alerted by a member of the public who was concerned that Stoggles was about to drive after drinking too much.

Appearing on behalf of Stoggles, Paul Forshaw said: “This was a reckless, stupid act where someone could have been killed. He now knows the danger he posed to other road users. This was aggravated by drink.”

Mr Forshaw said Stoggles had suspected that he was above the drink-drive limit and had decided to try to get away from the police.

Stoggles had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

Judge Holt sentenced Stoggles to eight months imprisonment suspended for 12 months with a condition he completes 100 hours of unpaid community work.

He was disqualified from driving for three years.