A man fuelled on drugs who went on a driving spree in someone else’s car and collided with 12 vehicles before being forcibly stopped by police has been jailed.
Tadd Sutton, 22, of Poole, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court and was sentenced on Friday 17 February to aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence, failing to stop for police and driving under the influence of a controlled drug. He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars and handed a five-year driving ban.
The court heard that on the evening of 31 August 2016, Sutton attended a friend’s birthday gathering at Alum Chine beach, having been driven there by an acquaintance. He claimed to the acquaintance he had left his jacket in the Chrysler car, was handed the car keys and went back to the vehicle.
As Sutton drove the car away he collided with a parked Ford Focus in Alum Chine car park and injured a man who sat in the driver’s seat. The driver required treatment for whiplash.
He then collided with two unattended parked cars in the car park and drove off toward Poole. Witnesses spotted the vehicle travelling with no lights on and being driven erratically, the court heard.
Near to the LV roundabout, Sutton collided with a Mazda at a junction, pushed the Mazda into the rear of a BMW, which then hit a Ford Transit. Without warning, Sutton reversed the Chrysler into the BMW causing it to spin in the road, before he hit the Mazda again and drove off. He also struck a parked unattended Fiat 500 and pushed it into a wall on Poole Road and caused minor damage to a Ford Focus, being driven the opposite direction.
Sutton continued toward Ashley Cross and crashed into other cars, before he drove toward Poole Quay. It was at this point a police follow began near to the lifting bridge on West Quay Road.
A tactical pursuit was authorised and police vehicles boxed the Chrysler in on Holes Bay Road, which brought the vehicle to a stop at around 9pm, the court heard.
Sutton was arrested and taken to Bournemouth police station. A drug analysis of Sutton’s blood found it to contain 1135 micrograms of MDMA – the legal limit is 10 micrograms.
Three of the 12 vehicles damaged by Sutton were written off. Minor damage was also caused to a police car.
Police Constable Dave Cotterill, of the traffic unit, said: “This was a terrifying incident for anyone who witnessed or was involved in any of the collisions that evening.
“Sutton’s actions were reckless and irresponsible. It is a miracle that nobody was seriously injured or killed.
“Dorset Police is working hard to take drivers like Sutton off our roads. Those who endanger the safety of the public should not be behind a wheel and I ask that anyone who is aware of individuals driving without a licence, insurance or driving while under the influence of drink or drugs to please contact police.”
If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please dial 999 immediately so we can intercept.
For non-urgent matters, or to pass information about someone who regularly drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please go to www.dorset.police.uk and follow the ‘Do it online’ function.