Cocaine-fuelled driver's 45-minute pursuit around Northamptonshire was 'simple stupidity'

Evans sped through Rothwell in Northamptonshire as part of his 45-minute cross-county pursuit.
Evans sped through Rothwell in Northamptonshire as part of his 45-minute cross-county pursuit.

A man who led police on a cocaine-fuelled high-speed chase across Northamptonshire that only came to a stop when he flipped the car has been sent to prison.

Royston Evans, of no fixed abode, was convicted of dangerous driving and driving without insurance at Northampton Magistrates' Court in November.

On November 3, police noticed him driving a white Vauxhall Astra van erratically in Regent Street, Kettering.

But Instead of stopping when a marked car pursued him, Evans, 28, accelerated, leading police on a 45-minute cross-county chase that sped around several villages through Geddington, Weldon, Gainsborough and Rothwell.

Sentencing him at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, Judge Michael Fowler dismissed Evans' mitigation that he had been grieving for his late father at the time of the offence.

Sentencing him to a year in prison, he said: "Finding there are police cars around you and still not facing the consequences - that's got nothing to do with grief - that's just simple stupidity.

"If you had stopped when police first saw you, you wouldn't be in this position."

Prosecutor James Armstrong-Holmes told the court how Evans took at least two blind right-handers in the opposite lane during the chase, straddled the white lines and at one stage, went the wrong way round a roundabout.

The force helicopter had to be scrambled and two further marked panda cars were called in to try and stop Evans, using a box manoeuvre.

Eventually, he rammed the back of a police van, flipping and coming to rest against a lamppost.

In mitigation for him, Maxine Krone said Evans was homeless at the time of the offence and struggling to cope with the loss of his father, whom she said had recently "died in his arms."

She said: "This is someone who has suffered mental health problems in the last year.

"He has suffered from anxiety and depression over the years. He was using cocaine to block out the emotional upset."

Evans was also banned for driving for two years.