'˜Appalling' dangerous driver drove up Doncaster streets at speeds of 100mph while drunk in bid to evade policeÂ

A dangerous Doncaster driver, who drove at speeds of up to 100mph in a residential area while drunk in a bid to evade police, has narrowly avoided spending Christmas in prison.Â

Friday, 21st December 2018, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 3:58 pm
Houghton was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Friday, December 21)

Darren Houghton's driving was brought to the attention of officers when he overtook a police car patrolling in Edlington at speed in the early hours of November 22 this year. 

Officers believed Houghton's BMW vehicle may have been involved with a supermarket burglary they were investigating in the area, and began pursuing the vehicle, prosecutor, Michael Tooley, told Sheffield Crown Court during a hearing held today. 

'The officers put their blue lights and sirens on, which everyone knows is a requirement for you to stop, but Mr Houghton didn't stop...The BMW reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour (mph) on Edlington Lane...The high-speed chase continued through country lanes which were winding and unlit,' said Mr Tooley. 

He added: 'The driver of the BMW travelled on the wrong side of the road, causing problems for oncoming traffic.' 

Mr Tooley told the court how Houghton, of Smith Square, Balby also drove straight through junctions, and said the chase only came to an end when the 34-year-old drove his BMW up a curb, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. 

Houghton was arrested at the scene, and when he was subsequently breathalised at the police station he was found to be almost three times over the legal limit, with 91 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. 

'The defendant was interviewed and admitted to the offences he is charged with,' said Mr Tooley. 

Houghton was also cleared of any involvement in the burglary being investigated by officers. 

He pleaded guilty to offences of dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving over the prescribed limit at an earlier hearing. 

James Gould, defending, told the court that the best points of mitigation that could be made on Houghton's behalf were his early guilty pleas and frank admissions in police interview. 

'My submission is that given the assessment in the pre-sentence report, which states he poses a low risk of re-offending, given his previous good compliance with court orders and given the serious impact an immediate custodial sentence would have on his children and partner, which of course he has brought on himself, but could be considered when deciding whether to impose an immediate custodial sentence,' said Mr Gould. 

Judge Sarah Wright sentenced Houghton to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work as well as 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement. 

'This was the most appalling dangerous driving when blatantly over the limit, putting lives at risk. It's no thanks to you that an innocent person wasn't seriously injured or killed,' said Judge Wright, and also banned Houghton from driving for a period of three years, after which time he will be required to take an extended driving test.