Sunderland drink driver who fled from cops caught after passers-by helped police
A driver almost four times the limit fled from police but was caught when witnesses pointed them in his direction.
Garry Nichol, 34, evaded officers when he sped off in his Citroen motor in Silksworth Lane, Silksworth, Sunderland.
Nichol, of Ashdown Road, Farringdon, Sunderland, and three occupants abandoned the vehicle – and vanished on Monday, March 22, a court heard.
But passers-by aided the officers, and moments later they identified the offender when he appeared from a footpath.
He confessed to being the driver and handed over the keys – then gave a breath test reading of 124 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Scaffolder Nichol has avoided a prison term but been given an 18-month community order and banned from driving for 32 months at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said: “Officers were in Silksworth Road when their attention was drawn to a black Citroen.
“It contained two adult males and one adult female.
“The officers have turned their car around but the Citroen has driven off at speed and turned off the road and gone down an alleyway.
“They searched the area, and members of the public gave an indication.
“They then noticed people coming from a footpath, and they identified the defendant as the driver.
“He smelled strongly of alcohol, and handed the keys to the officers. The starting point is 12 weeks in custody.”
Nichol has nine previous convictions from 21 offences, 12 of which are motoring matters, and he was last before the courts in 2016.
Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He’s been very candid. On the strength of the evidence, the police were not going to be able to prove he was the driver.
“I would ask you to look at the early guilty plea and that he has been out of trouble for five years. He is remorseful.”
Nichol pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance and without a licence.
As part of his community order, given for drink-driving, he must undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.
There was no separate penalty for the other motoring matters, but he must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.