Sunderland police chase driver in prison for first baby’s birth

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A MAN will miss the birth of his first child after he was jailed for dangerous driving.

Alan Slack crashed his BMW into a shop after sparking a high-speed police chase through Sunderland city centre.

Police flagged him down after spotting the 36-year-old driving without his lights on May 26 last year.

But when officers pulled up alongside Mr Slack – who appeared to be “heavily intoxicated’” – he sped away from the tailing police car, reaching speeds of up to 100mph.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during the chase, Slack, of Garron Street, Seaham, overtook several cars while travelling along Queen Alexandra Road in Sunderland.

However as he approached a T-junction, the Nissan worker began to lose control of his estate vehicle, causing him to crash into a roundabout and hit some metal railings.

His car was launched into the air before crashing through a shop window.

Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said: “Mr Slack was noted by police as being ‘heavily intoxicated’, his eyes were glazed and his pupils were like pin pricks.

“He declined to give a sample of his breath when he was taken to a police station.”

The court was told the shop involved was forced to close for three months, during which time its owner lost out on £30,000 worth of business.

Mr Slack, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at a previous hearing, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

Julian Smith, defending, explained how Mr Slack’s child will be born in two months’ time.

Mr Smith said: “His relationship is excellent and nurturing.

“His partner is expected to give birth in two months and he is devastated that he could spend the birth of his first child in custody.

“He believes that his partner will stand by him.”

Slack said he accepted there was “no excuse for what he had done” and the court heard he is ashamed of his actions and the effect they have had on himself and his family.

Jailing Slack, Recorder Philip Engleman said: “It would be an understatement to say that your driving was stupid and reckless.

“It was a miracle no person was hit by you and no one was killed but none of that was up to you.”

The judge also disqualified Slack from driving for three years, and ordered him to take an enhanced driving test before getting back behind the wheel.

No separate penalty was given for failing to provide a breath test.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho