Motorist with dog on his lap reaches 145mph in police car chase
A motorist tore across Teesside at up to 145mph in a hair-raising police chase - with his pet dog on his lap, a court heard this week.
Alan Richardson, 45, said he went out looking for his Tibetan terrier which had managed to wriggle out of a bay window and escape his home.
The HGV driver and mechanic got into his Audi A3 while over the alcohol limit to “widen the search” for the errant animal.
He found the runaway canine but was approached by a marked police car as two men stood by his stationary car window.
He fled at high speed at about 3am from Lanehouse Road, Thornaby on March 14.
He raced on to the A19, A174, A1085, Eston High Street and Grangetown before a police stinger finally brought him to a stop in Hemlington, Middlesbrough.
He sped in built-up areas, drove on the wrong side of the road and the wrong way around a roundabout, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday (Wednesday).
He reached speeds of 145mph and drove on Greystone Road, known as the “mad mile”, at up to 120mph, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.
The pursuit lasted about 20 minutes before he was caught in the driver’s seat with his dog on his lap. No one was hurt.
Richardson, of Lindisfarne Avenue, Stockton, admitted dangerous driving and drink driving.
Peter Wishlade, defending, said Richardson had psychiatric problems including depression and panic attacks.
When two people approached his car for a light, he was worried he might be “carjacked or robbed” and shot off in panic.
He said Richardson was “up the creek” and his life was in “utter turmoil” with estimated debts of £50,000.
Richardson had stopped driving and sold his share of a haulage business following an accident, then he and his partner lost a fish and chip shop business.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Richardson: “This is as bad a piece of dangerous driving as I’ve come across.
“What you did was drive in an exceedingly dangerous fashion over a prolonged period and over a prolonged distance.
“You knew you had too much to drink. Looking for a dog is no excuse for you getting into a car in that condition.
“Very soon after the pursuit started you were aware you were being pursued by a police car, and you could and should have stopped.
“You exposed members of the public to serious risk, if not death.”
He took into account Richardson’s previous good character, hard work, loving relationship, financial and health problems.
He jailed Richardson for 14 months and banned him from driving for five years.