Driver ‘willing to die’ in Portsmouth police car chase

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A DANGER driver who led police on a chase after taking a car from his estranged wife said he was willing to die.

Kevin McNamee only had a provisional licence when he took the Vauxhall Astra from wife Tracy in October.

She was so concerned about his drinking – at 10.30am – that she called police.

Guy Russell, defending, said: ‘He said his life was over and all he wanted to do was for that life to end. If the police drove him off the road and he was killed he was content.’

In a police interview McNamee, 51, said he went on a ‘bender’ after finding out his wife, who had kicked him out of the house, had been seeing someone else.

He had been drinking in the car at Portchester Castle the night before driving.

Martyn Booth, prosecuting, said McNamee’s wife tried to stop him.

He added: ‘However, he managed to get in the driver’s seat and drove off towards Cosham police station.

‘A police vehicle was immediately on the scene. That police vehicle had been there for a little bit of time but they didn’t think the car was going to move.’

As soon as McNamee drove off police followed him, with blue lights on.

McNamee, of Leominster Road, Paulsgrove, stopped and police approached him but he then sped off through a red light at a crossing. He shouted as he did so.

‘The police describe the car as travelling on residential streets at speeds up to 50 miles per hour,’ Mr Booth added. ‘It was described as driving down the bus lane.’

Police tried to block the Astra and end the chase.

But McNamee jumped red lights and turned the wrong way down a one-way system before being blocked by a bin lorry.

McNamee was arrested and a test revealed he had 238 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, nearly triple the 80mg limit.

McNamee had taken the car from his wife two weeks before the incident on October 12 last year.

McNamee told police he felt ‘ridiculous’, ‘pathetic’ and ‘terrible’ but did not remember much.

Judge Ian Pearson jailed McNamee for eight months and disqualified him from driving for three years with extended re-test. McNamee admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, taking a vehicle without consent, drink-driving, driving with no insurance and with no licence.