Notts man sparked police chase on wrong side of the road for hours

A suicidal Notts man led police on a four-hour chase as he drove on the wrong side of the road while "looking for a bridge to jump off," Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 3:00 pm

Boozed-up Mark Collins argued with his partner and borrowed a Vauxhall Corsa that didn’t belong to him before he was spotted by police, at 11.30pm, on March 13, said prosecutor Sarah Phelan.

Officers signalled for him to stop on the A610, but he ignored them and continued driving for two miles on the wrong side of the road.

Collins narrowly missed hitting a crash barrier at the Gilthill Retail Park on the way to Kimberley, Ms Phelan said. A people carrier and an HGV had to take evasive action to avoid smashing into him.

The pursuit was stopped because it was too dangerous to continue until officers spotted him again at 12.40am, on the A617 Chesterfield Road North, outside Mansfield, where he made a random U-turn and ran another red light.

Collins was finally stopped when a police car performed a "tactical contact" and ran him off the M1 southbound at 3.15am.

He refused to open his door and a window had to be smashed.

Tests later showed he had 44 mcgs of alchol in 100 mls of breath, when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

The court heard he has six previous convictions, including drink driving from July 2013. An additional charge of violence against his former partner was dropped.

Chris Brewin, mitigating, said: "At the time he was suicidal. His partner had thrown him out. He felt he had no friends and nowhere to stay.

"He was looking for a bridge to jump off."

Collins, 51, of Radford Boulevard, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence, and driving with excess alcohol, on December 3.

On Thursday, Recorder Paul Mann QC told him: "There are some cases where the public have to know that if you get in a car like this and drive dangerously you have got to go to prison.

"There is personal mitigation. But this has to take second place to deterrents. And I'm sorry, but yours is one of those cases."

Collins received nine months in prison and was banned from driving for three years, and four and a half months.

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