This is the shocking moment a drugged driver smashes into a shopfront in a £100,000 crash after hitting 78mph in a 30mph zone as he was chased by police.
Liam Wells, 31, was spared jail and banned from driving for two years instead after ploughing into Michael’s Workwear in Crickdale Road, Swindon, during a police pursuit in the early hours of March 4.
The car crashed next door to a takeaway where several people were inside at the time. Police said Wells ‘showed complete disregard to members of the public’.
Swindon Crown Court heard how Wells, of Swindon, was first noticed by officers officers in an unmarked police car when he was seen driving without lights in Pinehurst Road. Wells failed to stop after the officers activated their car’s blue lights and siren.
Extraordinary footage shared by Wiltshire Police shows Wells gathering speed as he drives towards Crickdale Road before he loses complete control and veers into a shuttered shop front.
At an earlier hearing, Wells pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drug driving, driving uninsured and without a licence.
He expressed remorse for his actions, personally apologising to the owner of Michael’s Workwear where he inflicted £100,000 worth of damage.
On Monday, Wells was sentenced to 16 months custody suspended for two years and banned from driving for two years.
He is also required to do 30 months rehabilitation activity and must attend a thinking skills programme. Wells was ordered to pay £425 in court costs.
PC Sean Williams of the Wiltshire Police Serious Collision Investigation Team said: ‘Wells showed complete disregard to members of the public when he decided to drive away from officers at speeds far exceeding the limit for the roads he was on.
‘It was a matter of luck that someone was not seriously hurt in this collision. The car crashed next door to a takeaway with numerous people inside at the time.
‘When I approached the scene shortly after the collision, I was fully expecting to be confronted by at least one fatality. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that such reckless driving is entirely unacceptable.’
In summary, the Judge Jason Taylor KC said: ‘It was extremely fortunate you did not hit the pizza shop next door which the officers noted had a number of customers within. The officers themselves were just about to desist with the pursuit due to the danger you posed to the public.
‘You were knocked unconscious, it could have been very different. You were tested for drugs. It was negative but to your credit you volunteered cocaine use early that evening.
‘You made full admissions in the interview. You also apologised for your actions personally.
‘The aggravating features are mitigated by your co-operation and your full admissions and genuine remorse.’