Man fled from police after two car chases

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man narrowly escaped jail after taking drugs in a Wigan nightclub and driving home.

Matthew Marshall, 25, got behind the wheel to avoid paying for a taxi, Wigan And Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard.

Police spotted a Vauxhall Astra driving at speed on Atherton Road, Hindley, at 2.30am on December 17.

They signalled for the car to stop but it did not, leading to a pursuit which ended when the car hit a kerb.

Marshall got out and ran away, but was caught by police.

Tests showed he had drugs including cocaine and cannabis in his system at levels above the limit for driving.

A month later, on January 20, police saw a Vauxhall Astra being driven “overly cautiously” on Spinning Jenny Way, Leigh, at 11.15pm.

It led to another pursuit, with Marshall eventually stopping the car near an alley and running away, through gardens and over a 6ft fence.

He was found hiding under a trailer for a heavy goods vehicle and arrested.

The court was told Marshall knew he should not have been driving and “panicked”.

He had been using cannabis since the age of 11 and took cocaine when socialising.

Bob Topping, defending, said: “We have a young man with no previous convictions at all who describes his behaviour as stupid beyond belief.”

Marshall, of Selwyn Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to 11 motoring offences relating to the two incidents on Bag Lane, Atherton, and Twist Lane, Leigh, including drug-driving, failing to stop and driving without insurance.

Magistrates told Marshall he put himself and the public “in serious danger”.

He was jailed for four months, suspended for 12 months , and banned from driving for 30 months.

A 12-month community order was also handed down, with drug rehabilitation and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.