Portsmouth driver rammed police car after taking heroin

JAILED Derek Douglas
JAILED Derek Douglas

Winchester jail put in special measures

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A BANNED driver who had led officers on a high speed chase rammed a police car when he was spotted back behind the wheel.

Derek Douglas was on bail following the first offence when he was caught driving again.

The 31-year-old had driven to McDonald’s in Southsea in December, where staff called the police believing he was drunk.

In fact the hairdresser had taken heroin.

Seeing the police and knowing he was already in trouble for the previous offence, Douglas slammed into their car but was caught before he could drive off.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Douglas’s first offence unfolded when police tried to pull him over for driving an Audi while on his mobile phone in June.

Rather than stopping, Douglas, who was already banned from driving, sped off, doing double the 30mph speed limit through the streets of Southsea.

He went the wrong way round a roundabout on Fawcett Road and the wrong way up Haslemere Road, a one-way street.

At that point the chasing officers ended the pursuit because it was getting too dangerous.

Douglas’s car was found abandoned and he was later arrested and released on bail.

Howard Barrington-Clark, defending, said Douglas, who has 27 previous convictions for driving and drug offences, was sorry.

‘He wants to sort his life out,’ he said.

‘He says he is too old, he has been in and out of prison. He hasn’t sought to blame anyone else, he has taken matters on the chin.’

Douglas, of Queen Street, Portsea, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, criminal damage, two counts of driving while disqualified, two counts of driving without insurance and possession of heroin.

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You are a man with numerous previous convictions including previous convictions involving drug and driving offences. All of these offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence may be justified.

‘I have to be concerned with the protection of the motoring public.

‘There was a police chase, you drove at excess speed, you crossed a roundabout the wrong way and you drove up a one-way street the wrong way.

‘Your driving was such that the police had to abandon their pursuit. You drove with complete disregard for the safety of other road users.’ Douglas was banned from driving for three years.

Gareth Bethell

The News

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