Jilted Portsmouth man took police on 100mph car chase

SCENE The M275 was where Humphreys led police on a chase driving at speeds of up to 100 mph.
SCENE The M275 was where Humphreys led police on a chase driving at speeds of up to 100 mph.

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A JILTED lover led police on a drunken 100mph car chase after going on a binge when he was dumped by his girlfriend.

Christopher Humphreys hit the bottle when his partner told him their relationship was over – and then started going out with his best friend.

The 22-year-old was spotted driving erratically in his red Ford Escort in Portsmouth city centre in the evening of April 23.

After he braked sharply to avoid hitting pedestrians crossing Stanhope Road, near Liquid & Envy nightclub, he drove past two police officers who noticed he had no seatbelt on.

They decided to follow him, sparking a terrifying chase which saw him reach speeds of 100mph on the motorway out of the city.

At Portsmouth Crown Court, prosecuting solicitor Jeffrey Norrie-Miller said: ‘As he reached Slindon Street, the police put on their lights, but he sped up, accelerating onto Arundel Street. At this point the police put on their sirens, and he sped up more, reaching 70mph in a heavily built-up zone.’

Pursued by police, Humphreys, who works as an engineer, fled on to the M275, where he sped up to 100mph.

Mr Norrie-Miller explained: ‘He turned off on to the slip road to Cosham, still travelling very quickly. He lost control of the vehicle, and sparks flew from the bottom of the car.’

Although Humphreys attempted to regain control, his car smashed into roadside barriers on the right, then left hand sides of the road, and the car lifted off the road before landing.

Mr Norrie-Miller said: ‘Smoke was coming from the engine, and the vehicle’s front was badly damaged.’

Humphreys opened his car door, and ran away from the approaching police car.

He was tackled and arrested by chasing officers, at which point he stood up and apologised, telling them: ‘I could have killed you.’

He was arrested, and his breath was found to contain 50 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml. The legal limit is 35mg.

Stephen Clayton, defending, said: ‘This is completely out of character. He is a 22-year-old with a good job. He was immediately apologetic and he and his family are horrified that he did this.

‘But he had been going out with a girl he was deeply in love with, who split up with him after two-and-a-half-years and started going out with his best friend.

‘He had too much to drink and went out in his car. He knows this was wrong. He saw the police and panicked and that was wrong too.’

Recorder Michael Norman said: ‘In a case like this, a prison sentence is inevitable. And it’s very rare indeed for a sentence to be suspended, as human lives were put at risk by your behaviour.

‘But your mitigation is powerful. You had been through a very difficult personal experience and panicked. It is good to see your family have attended court with you today.’

Humphreys, of Bude Close. Paulsgrove, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving.

He was given a 12 months suspended sentence and a curfew, meaning he must remain at home between 7pm and 7am for the next four months. He was also banned from driving for 12 months, and must pay £340 costs.