120mph police chase driver captured in Kirkby Stephen

Date: Friday 18th January 2019

A BANNED driver who led police on a 120mph pursuit has been jailed by a judge who slammed his “disgraceful and catastrophic” conduct behind the wheel.

Complaints initially surfaced about Patrick Raymond Campbell’s “erratic” control of a Ford Mondeo on the northbound carriageway of the M6 near Tebay on 13th April last year.

Police waited on a slip road and then began a 12-mile pursuit as Campbell left the motorway at Junction 38at around 1pm. Dash-cam footage played to Carlisle Crown Court showed breathtaking near-misses with oncoming traffic on the A685 as the 25-year-old, who was under the influence of alcohol, tried to evade capture. Some drivers were forced to pull over.

With blue lights illuminated, police hit 120mph on a 60mph stretch of road as they tried to keep up with Campbell. They also reached 60mph in residential areas of Kirkby Stephen before he turned up a dead end and fled on foot.

He was swiftly captured and detained with the help of two members of the public, but verbally abused officers, struggled and behaved violently in a police vehicle before refusing to take a breath test. Prosecutor Ms Beccy McGregor described “appalling” driving by Campbell who, she said, “has never passed his driving test”.

He made no comment when interviewed, but later admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to provide a specimen, obstructing police and having no insurance.

Campbell had 20 convictions to his name, including for previous offences of driving while banned and obstructing police. He had also been handed a previous prison sentence for another dangerous driving incident.

Ms Kelleigh Lodge, defending, said: “I don’t put forward any other explanation other than he panicked, knowing he didn’t have a licence. He is genuinely sorry.”

Campbell, of Melrose Avenue, St Helen Auckland, County Durham, was jailed for 20 months and given a three-year driving ban. Judge Peter Davies said: “It was a miracle nobody died in lorries, in their cars, in their vans. It was a miracle that the lives of police officers who were chasing you were not put at more significant risk.”