Armed police stop driver doing 60mph in 20mph zone

Burnley Crown Court.

Burnley Crown Court.

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A drink driver who sparked a high-speed police car chase only stopped when an officer pulled a gun on him, a court heard.

Jonathan Trafford (22) was at the wheel of a white Audi which was reported to have been stolen in a robbery.

It had been boxed in by police during the pursuit, but had “lurched forward” despite the fact officers and dogs were approaching.

The armed response officer, fearing for the safety of himself and that of his colleagues, had then drawn the handgun and pointed the weapon towards the vehicle in an “off-arm” stance.

Burnley Crown Court was told Trafford, who turned out to be almost twice the legal limit, had clocked up 75 mph in a 50mph zone, gone at 60mph in a 20mph residential street in the town and almost hit a taxi.

The Audi had initially been reported as stolen, but it later turned out to be a “wholly false complaint,” and the owner admitted he had lent the car to the defendant.

Most of the chase was caught on police dashboard camera and a DVD of the footage was played to the sentencing hearing.

Trafford, of Co-operative Buildings, Cliviger, was spared immediate jail.

He had been committed for sentence by Burnley magistrates, after earlier admitting dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving with excess alcohol, no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Judge Andrew Woolman gave him six months in prison, suspended for two years. The defendant was banned for a year and must take an extended driving test.

Prosecutor Judith McCullough told the court that on March 29th the car owner made a complaint to police, saying the Audi had been taken in a robbery. He made a subsequent statement saying he had been drinking, the defendant asked to borrow the vehicle and he agreed.

The defendant had a record for drunk and disorderly, dishonesty, failing to surrender and failing to comply with court orders.

Dylan Bradshaw (defending) told the hearing that Trafford had a “chaotic lifestyle” at the time.