Man crashed into police in drunk getaway at game

Andrew Stonebridge outside Portsmouth Crown Court
Andrew Stonebridge outside Portsmouth Crown Court
  • Drunk crashed into police officer who was trying to stop him
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TWO police officers feared they would be flung over the bonnet of a car when a drink-driver drove directly at them.

Andrew Stonebridge, 51, was refused entry to the Havant & Waterlooville first round FA Cup match with Preston.

ou put at risk other road users and specifically put at risk two police officers

Judge Ian Pearson

He was seen unsteady on his feet, staggering side to feet when he was refused entry three times.

But the redundant former national newspaper journalist was seen by PC Stuart Dickerson getting into his parked Volkswagen Golf and reversing.

Martyn Booth, prosecuting, said: ‘Fearing that he was going to drive, both officers ran down the stairs to try and stop him driving off. The vehicle was coming out of the side entrance.’

The two constables, dressed in high-visibility clothing, stood in front of the car in a bid to stop it, with PC Dickerson shouting stop and mouthing it so Stonebridge would understand.

‘The defendant was still looking at him, he heard the engine rev,’ Mr Booth added.

‘PC Dickerson had stepped back, and begun to draw his baton when the vehicle moved forward.

‘He tried to side-step the front off-side corner of the vehicle but the vehicle collided with his right side knocking him off balance.

‘As the car went past he tried to strike the driver’s window to stop him.’

But as he did this the car door swung open hitting PC Dickerson’s hand injuring right index finger.

Mr Booth added: ‘The door hit his hand rather than he striking the window.’

He said: ‘Had they been a few more seconds, he believes they would have been thrown on to the bonnet of the car and carried forward.’

Stonebridge, of Brooklands Road, Havant drove off ‘at speed’ on a two-mile journey to his home.

The PCs chased on foot but a response team found Stonebridge at home.

He was seen struggling to get out the car and fell into the driver’s door.

Stonebridge was arrested and a breath test showed he had 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – 35mg is the legal limit.

The court heard he had been drinking in the pub for four hours before the 8pm match. The court also heard he had been given his motability car by the government due to a long-standing disability.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink-driving, driving while disqualified, and without insurance.

Stonebridge has five convictions for seven offences, including two previous drink-drive convictions in 2007 and 2012.

Sentencing Stonebridge to 13 months, judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You drove while disqualified in flagrant disregard of court orders.

‘You put at risk other road users and specifically put at risk two police officers.

‘You failed to stop for them, you drove at them and caused a slight injury to one of them. You drove home some two miles. There was a significant danger to other users on that two-mile trip.’

He was serving a three-year ban for drink-driving at the time of the incident at the football ground on November 10 last year.

Edward Hollingsworth, defending, said Stonebridge, who once worked at The News, was close to ‘rock bottom’ and had worked on short-term contracts with a culture of drinking alcohol. He said Stonebridge, who has suffered since needing a hip replacement at 14, had ‘clearly lost whatever grip’ he had on his life.

Investigating officer PC Rachel Wyatt said: ‘Drinking and driving ruins lives.’