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Drug driver who crashed car into bridge on Christmas Eve spared jail

A MOTORIST who crashed his car into a bridge on Christmas Eve while under the influence of drugs has been spared jail.

Jacob Chantler was found hiding in the loft of his home when police came to arrest him.

However he was spared a prison sentence, with Liverpool Crown Court hearing that he had begun to turn his life around.

Prosecution barrister Paul Blasberry told the court on Wednesday, May 22, that police patrolling in Bewsey at around 9am on December 24 saw a Ford Fiesta travelling on Longshaw Street at speed.

Officers followed the car and watched as it went through two roundabouts on the wrong side of the road and then crash through a railing and into a bridge.

The occupants fled the scene, however police found documents in the car belonging to Chantler, of Northwich Road in Dutton, and they arrived at his then address on Livingstone Close in Old Hall – the male was found hiding in the loft and tested positive for cocaine.

Kyra Badman, defending Chantler, stated that he had admitted dangerous driving at the first opportunity and had been working hard to turn his life around.

“The defendant admits that he had been out drinking the evening before and had taken cocaine,” she said.

“He needed to take a car seat in the vehicle to his mother, made the stupid decision to drive and panicked when he saw the police car.

Ms Badman added that nobody had been hurt us a result of Chantler’s actions, and he has not taken cocaine since.

Instead, he has actively sought help with narcotics anonymous, is in full time employment and is attending night school twice a week, training to become an electrician.

She added: “To his credit, after leaving his previous job due to his driving disqualification, he has found a new job and is studying at night school to provide for his family.”

In sentencing, Recorder Harrington, said: “When you got into the car that morning, you should have known not to have driven.

“Someone could have been killed – that is how serious this is, but thankfully nobody was hurt.

“I am giving you a chance as I am impressed with what I have heard, but there will be no further chances – so please take it.”

Chantler was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to pay £1,000 in damages for hitting the bridge and disqualified from driving for a year, and will be required to pass an extended driving test before being allowed back on the roads again.



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