Drunk driver, 68, who hit police car on M27 was convicted of woman’s crash death in 1970s

A PENSIONER who killed a young woman on the road nearly 50 years ago was caught drink-driving after hitting an unmarked police car on the M27.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 5:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:29 pm
Nigel Slade after his appearance at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court

Security guard Nigel Slade, 68, was nearly triple the limit when police were tipped off to his driving on Boxing Day evening last year.

Officers lay in wait near Whiteley on the M27 eastbound for Slade, of Clacton Road, Wymering, as he drove his 2007 Fiat Doblo home from work in Amesbury, Wiltshire. They were tipped off about his poor driving on the motorway at Eastleigh at 6.30pm.

But as he approached police waiting on the hard shoulder near Whiteley he hit the officers’ vehicle wing mirror — then failed to stop, driving on the hard shoulder for a mile.

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Nigel Slade after his appearance at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court

He only stopped after coming off the motorway at junction 12 for Portsmouth, waiting at red lights at the four-way junction in Southampton Road near Port Solent.

A breath test revealed he had 103 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Magistrates handed him a 28-month ban after being told of his conviction for causing the death of a woman by reckless driving in January 1973 and a more recent offence of being in charge of a vehicle while over the limit in 2003.

It comes as drivers are being hauled into court after being stopped during Hampshire police’s annual Christmas crackdown in December.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Lucinda Webb said: ‘This bench is very minded to just keep you off the road for as long as possible. Clearly your drinking and driving don’t go together, and they don’t for anybody.’

Slade was fined £250 with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs to pay.

Opening the case, prosecutor Graham Heath said it was a ‘serious case of its type’.

Mr Heath said: ‘The vehicle did go so close that it took off the (police vehicle’s) wing mirror. As a result the police pursued the vehicle.

‘It swerved on to the hard shoulder and didn’t stop and hit a drain and continued for about a mile - all the time the police following it.

‘Police (used) strobes, sirens, headlights — probably everything possible they had to try and stop the vehicle but it simply continued.’

Mr Heath added at one point the police pulled ‘side by side indicating for it to pull over’.

He said: ‘It was only at junction 12, the vehicle coming off the motorway at Southampton Road, almost at Port Solent, that the vehicle then stopped.’

Slade penned a letter to magistrates outlining his personal mitigation and ‘harrowing’ difficulties in his family.

It revealed he had to come out of retirement to work for his son on Christmas Day and Boxing Day in Amesbury, getting up in the early hours. He said he only drank on Boxing Day.

Edward Jackson, for Slade, added: ‘He didn’t know there had been an accident.’

He said: ‘He was aware that there was a police car following him and assumed it was going after somebody else so he didn’t stop. Ironically the reason police were able to stop him was because he continued driving and when he got to the motorway side of Queen Alexandra Hospital there’s a huge set of traffic lights. It was only then that he realised the police wanted to stop him.’

Slade admitted at the first opportunity drink-driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to stop when asked by police.