Driver high on cocaine led police on 100mph chase
A court heard that Jonathan Rutter reached speeds of more than 100mph as he fled from police in the Seat stolen earlier that day in a burglary.
The pursuing officer dropped back fearing for the safety of pedestrians and other drivers and lost sight of him for 10 seconds and then saw debris and smoke.
He had hit a silver Mercedes which had been shunted through a garden wall and up against a house, explained Lianne Birkett, prosecuting.
The police officer later said: “In 18 years in the police service I can honestly say I have never seen anyone drive so dangerously in a police pursuit.”
He said he had been seriously concerned for the safety of pedestrians and road users as Rutter drove along Sherwood Road on the Norley Hall estate in Wigan.
He added that if the car had not struck the Mercedes and continued on at a 90 degree angle on to the busy Ormskirk Road “it would have had unthinkable consequences”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that 22-year-old Rutter has committed 22 previous offences of “almost every description” and the incident put him in breach of a 10-week suspended sentence imposed for arson.
Recorder Abigail Hudson sentenced him to a total of 31 months, including two months of the suspended sentence, and banned him from driving for 18 months after his release.
“You were seen driving in Wigan clearly under the influence of something and driving like a complete idiot,” she said.
She said the crash was inevitable and he “tried to flee but because of drink and your drug addled state you were caught”.
She added: “Your pre-sentence report is extremely poor. You displayed arrogance to the author and a complete lack of remorse.”
Recorder Hudson said that he had admitted having taken cannabis, amphetamine and crack cocaine.
Miss Birkett had told the court that the offences took place at 11.40am on February 2 this year.
Police officers had reports of someone driving around the Norley Hall Estate and they saw him revving the engine and reversing towards a school.
When the officers came across the scene of the accident they found the driver of the Mercedes and his dog, which had been in the back, both badly shaken but fortunately not seriously injured.
When arrested Rutter was found to have a knife with a three and a half inch blade in his pocket.
Rutter, of Swinley Road, Swinley, who appeared via video link from prison, pleaded guilty to driving dangerously and while disqualified and without insurance, handling the stolen car, possessing a knife and possessing drugs.
Martyn Walsh, defending, said Rutter had panicked when he saw the police.