Preston motorist risked lives with "extremely unorthodox and potentially very dangerous" manoeuvre during morning police chase

A motorist who sped onto the wrong side of the road during a police pursuit through Preston has been jailed for 42 weeks.

By Stef Hall
Sunday, 26th April 2020, 11:45 am

James Lowry, 30, of Egan Street, Preston, begged for his sentence to be suspended, due to his sister being poorly with Covid-19, but Preston Crown Court heard he had a history of breaching court orders.

Lowry, who had no insurance or road licence, was behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta that reached speeds of around 70mph on main roads through the city as he tried to evade police officers on December 27.

Peter Barr, prosecuting, said officers wanted to speak to him about an earlier alleged incident for which he has not been charged.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

James Lowry (Lancashire Police)

He said a patrol turned on its sirens and lights after spotting Lowry's vehicle in the Broadgate and Leyland Road area, travelling towards Preston.

He added: " The defendant increased his speed towards the lights and then went onto the wrong side of the carriageway and overtook a moving vehicle."

Later, the Fiesta avoided a red light on Liverpool Road by going onto the wrong side of the junction to enter a right hand turn, and continued on the wrong side of the A59 going into Preston.

the chase continued along Corporation Street, Ringway, Friargate and Market Street,

Bungling Lowry was eventually forced to stop and was arrested at the scene as he tried to jump from the car.

He answered no comment in an interview.

Lowry wiped his eyes as Ellen Shaw, defending, explained the dad-of-two had and a sister who was in intensive care due to Covid-19.

She asked the judge to suspend the sentence in the "exceptional circumstances" and added Lowry was extremely distressed because he had a close relationship with her.

But Judge Robert Altham said: "This is a main road, it was in the morning. We're not told other vehicles were put in danger, but it is known to be one of the major carriageways in the Preston area.

"At one stage he has performed an extremely unorthodox and potentially very dangerous right hand turn. This was clearly a very dangerous piece of driving.

"The defendant has invited me to consider questions of his family in a different context, expressing desire to be helping at this difficult time and also to be at the bedside of his sister.

"The defendant needs to think of other people's families as well. Other peoples' families were driving around the roads of Preston that day. Other peoples' families could have been grievously injured and even killed."

He added Lowry had committed offences on bail in the past, had breached bail and added: "There would, I regret, be really no point because there's not a shred of evidence he would begin to comply with a suspended sentence order."

Lowry was also disqualified for two years.