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Teen motorist led police on car chase to avoid drugs bust

Andrew Owen fled, leaving his girlfriend to face the music

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

A TEENAGE motorist led police on a car chase because he had drugs on him.

Andrew Owen fled through residential streets, with officers in pursuit, before ditching the car in woods and escaping – leaving his girlfriend to face the music.

Just days later, Mr Owen, of Kennedy Drive, Pangbourne, was caught behind the wheel while high on cocaine, Reading magistrates heard on Thursday, November 30.

Clare Barclay, prosecuting, said police wanted to speak to the driver of a Vauxhall Corsa and activated their emergency lights.

Nineteen-year-old Mr Owen pulled over – but as the officer got out to speak to him, he suddenly gunned the engine and sped off, the court heard.

A car chase ensued through residential streets before Mr Owen drove into some woods.

Ms Barclay added: “The defendant ran off deep into the woods; police pursued him, but lost him.”

His girlfriend, who was a passenger, tried in vain to persuade him to come back, via mobile phone, the court heard.

A bag of cannabis was found in the car and Mr Owen eventually handed himself in at a police station, said Ms Barclay.

Days later, an officer saw the same car being driven by Mr Owen and caused it to stop.

Ms Barclay said: “The officer could see obvious signs of drug use in the car.”

Mr Owen later tested positive for cannabis and cocaine, magistrates were told.

Mr Owen admitted failing to stop when directed by police, obstructing or resisting an officer in the execution of their duty and possessing the Class B controlled drug, cannabis, all on September 28.

He further admitted driving while unfit through drugs and driving when the amount of a cocaine metabolite in his system was more than twice the specified limit, both on October 7.

John Dillon, defending, said his client had no previous convictions or cautions of any kind.

He added: “The vehicle is being sold this week, therefore the temptation to drive will be gone.

“The reason he made off was because he knew there was a small amount of cannabis in the car.”

Mr Dillon said Mr Owen worked as a gardener, but accepted he would have to travel by bicycle following the inevitable driving ban.

He concluded: “He accepts responsibility for these offences and apologises to the court through me.

“Hopefully, this is the last time he will appear before the court.”

Mr Owen was banned from driving for 12 months.

In addition, he was made subject to a 12-month community order with the requirement that he completes 27 hours at an attendance centre.

Finally, Mr Owen was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.

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