Whittingham and Broughton police chase: Blackpool man in court over 90mph pursuit

One of Lancashire's worst motorists is today starting a 12 month jail term after a bungled police chase in which he could have killed members of the public.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 3:45 pm

Remorseless Aaron Anthony Stoddard, who has amassed 48 offences in 10 years - mostly for driving matters - told a probation officer: "What's the problem I didn't knock anybody over" after the deadly 90mph pursuit.

Stoddard, of Threlfall Road, Blackpool, was on bail for drug driving when he was seen behind the wheel of a blue Ford KA at around 11.30am on August 8 last year, swerving off and back onto the M55 at Wesham.

Preston Crown Court heard when police patrol officers activated their sirens and lights he moved into lane 1 travelling between 80 and 90mph and undertook traffic on the hard shoulder.

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Crown Court

He entered a 50mph roadwork zone at 90mph and then returned to the hard shoulder.

Peter Connick, prosecuting, said he left at junction 1 at Broughton and caused cars to take evasive action as he weaved between traffic trying to get past.

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At the roundabout he went straight through the red lights causing another car to swerve, and sped up Garstang Road towards Broughton crossroads.

He turned up Whittingham Lane and onto Pinewood Avenue, a quiet residential estate, at 50mph to try to shake off the police.

The pursuit continued back onto Whittingham Lane and ended at a new residential development, where he tried to climb a fence but was detained by police.

Playing horrifying dashcam footage, Mr Connick added: "He proceeded over speed bumps, stop signs and white lines in the road. There were a number of pedestrians and cyclists in the area and at one stage a pedestrian had to leap out of his path when he swerved onto a road.

"The Crown say this was a prolonged incident with a "deliberate disregard for the safety of other road users".

Stoddard told police he held an expired provisional licence and had "paid a friend £20" for an insurance policy.

The court heard since these offences he committed another drug driving offence just two weeks after the chase after being bailed again.

Defending, James Heyworth accepted it was "pure luck" he was not facing a death by dangerous driving charge, but urged the judge to suspend his sentence.

However, Judge Philip Parry, imposing a three and a half year ban and extended retest, said: "This will be a custodial sentence and there's no prospect at all of it being suspended.

"I consider you do represent a danger to the public when you get behind the wheel of a car.

"That footage we all watched together is very hard to watch because one can only imagine how close you came to causing catastrophic injury or death to all the people you drove past at high speed.

"It's horrific to see how close you came to pedestrians.

"Any one of them could have been hit by your high speed reckless and dangerous driving."

Referring to him looping the Broughton estate at 50mph he added: " Had anyone been playing out or crossing those streets they would have been hit by you.

"You did all of this whilst you were on bail for drug driving and other motoring matters.

"You just cannot stay out of cars and when you are in cars you commit offences.

"You don't care at all for any rules or regulations as far as road driving is concerned."

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