Fugitive driver lost eye in chase

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A DRINK-driver who blinded himself in one eye as he tried to escape the police has been jailed.

Robert Williams, 42, was left with the life-changing injury after falling from a fence and crashing to the ground while drunkenly attempting to out-run a bobby.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how police had earlier received an anonymous tip-off that the defendant had drunk too much booze before getting behind the wheel of a silver BMW.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told how an officer on mobile patrol then spotted Williams driving down the road towards him.

When the officer turned his vehicle around to stop the BMW, Williams drove off at speed.

A three-minute chase then ensued through a residential estate before the defendant abandoned the car at the top of a cul de sac.

Williams climbed a fence to get away from the officer, hitting his head on the way down, before escaping along an embankment near Bryn railway station.

But the police officer was then approached by a group of children who reported seeing a man with blood on his face outside the station, and he subsequently made the arrest.

Williams was initially taken to Wigan Infirmary for treatment to his injury.

But a blood sample taken at the hospital showed that he was nearly two-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit.

The defendant also admitted to police that he was banned from driving at the time following previous drink driving convictions.

Graham Simpson, defending Williams, said his client was now alcohol-free and deserved credit for his early guilty pleas.

He added that Williams, of Linden Avenue, Ashton, had suffered damage to the optical nerve in one of his eyes and there was no prospect o f recovery.

Magistrates jailed Williams for 18 weeks and banned him from driving for six years.

Justices told him: “This is your third drink-driving conviction in less than three years and was committed while you were subject to a disqualification, a community order and a conditional discharge.

“The manner of your driving put the public at risk.”