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Driver almost crashed in police chase

A YOUNG man narrowly avoided a head-on crash after leading police on a high-speed car chase down dark rural lanes.

A YOUNG man narrowly avoided a head-on crash after leading police on a high-speed car chase down dark rural lanes.

Banned driver Paul Hodkinson, 21, who was almost three times the legal drink-drive limit, was pursued at speeds of up to 80mph.

He also sped over a blind junction and, at one point, crossed onto the opposite side of the road, Chester magistrates heard.

Hodkinson, of Keysbrook, Tattenhall, admitted dangerous driving, drink-driving, driving while disqualified and no insurance.

Prosecutor John Barguss said: 'Police were on duty in an unmarked car at 12.30am on Sunday, November 18, on the A41 at Christleton.

'They saw Hodkinson, in a Citroen Saxo, overtake them. He was exceeding the 30mph speed limit. His speed was 44mph in a restricted area.

'He continued to exceed the limit on to the Rowton roundabout and the police put on their blue lights.

'Hodkinson turned left into Moor Lane, Waverton, then began to accelerate to 60mph. At Eggbridge Lane, which is a crossroads, Hodkinson then drove straight through, ignoring the stop signs. Officers saw three people in the car ­ Hodkinson, who was driving, and two women.

'He continued to reach high speeds and drove into Chapel Lane, crossing onto the opposite carriageway. He had obtained speeds of up to 80mph.'

Mr Barguss added: 'He went into Newton Lane, Tattenhall, and continued driving erratically at up to 74mph. Then he went into Ford Lane, coming to a stop at the end. He ran from the vehicle and was arrested.

'Hodkinson smelled of alcohol and was taken to Chester Police Station. A test showed a breath alcohol reading of 86mg. The legal limit is 35mg.

'He is banned from driving until February 12, 2003.'

Mr Barguss said the women in the car were Susanna Reynolds of Clutton and a 16-year-old who cannot be named. 'The owner of the car is the mother of Miss Reynolds, who was away at the time on her holidays in Jamaica,' he added.

Hodkinson has a previous conviction for drink-driving. He was committed to Chester Crown Court for sentencing on January 2 and was bailed. An interim driving ban was imposed.

Defending, Roger Badman claimed the women in the car 'were encouraging him in this escapade'.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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