Deadly M55 wrong way pursuit from Blackpool to Preston lands motorist behind bars

A reckless motorist deliberately sped the wrong way up the M55 and turned off his lights to evade police.

By Stef Hall
Friday, 15th May 2020, 12:30 pm

Kieran Philbin, 33, who has 30 convictions - most for dangerous driving and excess alcohol - was subject to six road bans at the time.

Lancashire Police officers were forced to implement a roadblock to stop other motorists coming into contact with the Audi A3 after Philbin continued on his deadly pursuit - despite his tyres being destroyed by stingers moments earlier.

Judge Sara Dodd jailed him for 22 months and banned him for six years after hearing a police officer had described it as the "worst piece of driving he had ever seen" in his career.

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The pursuit happened on the M55

Preston Crown Court heard the chase began at 3am on February 15 in Blackpool, when Philbin was spotted driving past a police vehicle at high speed.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said officers had to accelerate to 100mph in a 30mph zone to catch up with him, after he had given through various red lights.

He added: " The defendant was spotted going through a red light near Park Road in Blackpool.

"Details were passed to other patrols.

"Police deployed a stinger further on, he went straight over which began to deflate his tyres."

As Philbin got onto the eastbound M55 at junction 4, his front tyre came off and narrowly missed workmen on the hard shoulder.

He left at Junction 3 for Kirkham, shunting a police car, and went the wrong way round the roundabout, before going the wrong way up the sliproad and back onto the M55, turning his lights off

At that point the pursuit was abandoned and traffic patrols managed to put on a road block to stop innocent motorists coming into contact with him.

Eventually Philbin, of Samuel Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport, parked up on the hard shoulder and fled, but a sniffer dog found him in a field.

In an interview he answered no comment.

Defending Chris Hudson accepted he had a "horrendous record" and said "people could have been killed".

He said he had been suffering from depression, sleepwalking and sleepless nights."

Philbin admitted dangerous driving, failing to give a breath test and driving while banned and uninsured.

Judge Sara Dodd jailed him for 22 months, banned him for six years and ordered an extended retest.

She said: "It was prolonged, it was persistent and it was an incredibly dangerous piece of driving."

It comes four years after Philbin hit the headlines following a similar incident in Manchester.