20-year-old jailed for 136mph drunken police chase that ended in roundabout crash

High speed police chase only came to halt when culprit crashed into Ballygawley roundabout
High speed police chase only came to halt when culprit crashed into Ballygawley roundabout

A 20-year-old man who led police on a drunken 30 mile motorway chase, reaching speeds of up to 136mph on icy roads before crashing into a roundabout, has been jailed for two months.

Dungannon Magistrates heard how Adam Acheson took his mother’s VW Golf without permission in the early hours of February 22.

What ensued was a high speed chase along the M1 and M4, as he swerved across the carriageway because he was drunk.

After crashing into the Ballygawley roundabout, Acheson then took off on foot, before returning to hand himself into police.

Police first clocked Acheson driving at 109mph around junction 11 of the M1.

And after taking off in pursuit with lights flashing, the court heard how the young man drove at speeds of between 120-136mph for the next 25-30miles, before crashing to a halt.

A breath test showed the Broomhill Heights resident to be intoxicated at the roadside, while a later reading showed 55mg of alcohol.

Saying that “this was one of the worst cases of driving that has come before your worship,” defence counsel conceded that a prison sentence was inevitable but argued for leniency on account of his client’s “mental heath issues”.

He also said his mother had tried to have him admitted to mental health facilities before the incident, that he was “extremely shy” and “finds it difficult to communicate”.

Despite his previous conviction for aiding and abetting a kidnap, he argued that his client was the driver for a 40-year-old man and was easily led.

But a probation report, which Judge Meehan read from in court, said Acheson “repeatedly failed to engage with probation”, had a “lack of consequential thinking” and also “a lack of empathy”.

He also hit out at the fact the young man has never been diagnosed with anything specific.

“The safety of the public has to be a point,” Meehan said before sentencing the Magheralin, county Down man to two months behind bars, banning him from the road for three years and imposing fines totalling £505.