A 23-year-old man has been given a suspended prison sentence in connection with a number of offences – including dangerous driving and being 14 times over the drug-driving limit – following a police pursuit along the A14 and A11 which began in Newmarket with speeds recorded at more than 130mph.
James Nagy, of Peck Court, Barton-le-Clay, in Bedfordshire, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, January 28, for sentencing, and police have released a video of the crashed car following the chase.
He had previously pleaded guilty to the following six offences:
– Dangerous driving;
– Two counts of drug-driving (cocaine and cannabis);
– Possession of a weapon for the discharge of a noxious liquid, namely a pepper spray;
– Possession of cocaine;
– Possession of cannabis.
Nagy was sentenced to 10-months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months (for dangerous driving); and 20-weeks’ imprisonment, also suspended for 18 months (for drug-driving). He was disqualified from driving for 12-months, had his licence endorsed with nine points and will have to take an extended re-test.
He was also ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work, 35 days rehabilitation activity and pay a total of £400 in fines.
The offences all relate to an incident which occurred on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
At around 9.15pm that evening, a unit from the Roads and Armed Policing Team was stationary in the on-slip of the A14 westbound in Newmarket, at the junction with the A142.
Police had received information that a black Volkswagen Golf, which was suspected of being involved in criminal activity, was travelling westbound on the A14 and it then drove past shortly afterwards.
The marked police vehicle then entered the A14 and attempted to follow the vehicle, but it immediately began to accelerate away and was travelling in excess of 100mph.
The officer in the police vehicle illuminated the blue lights and began to pursue the VW Golf, which had also undertaken a car in front of it in lane three. The police vehicle was now having to travel in excess of 130mph to keep the offending car in sight.
The VW Golf then entered onto the A11, continuing at speeds of between 120mph and 130mph as it passed through Six Mile Bottom and the Wilbrahams, before leaving the A11 at the exit for Fulbourn.
The police vehicle had been forced to slow down due to the road and weather conditions and temporarily lost sight of the VW Golf, before locating it at the top of the off-slip from the A11, where it had collided with a barrier at the top of the junction. It appeared the driver had failed to stop at the give way sign and gone straight across the road.
Nagy then exited the vehicle from the driver’s door and was arrested at the scene. There was considerable damage to the crash barrier and the car was smoking, requiring the fire service to attend and make it safe.
A rucksack was found on the front passenger seat of the car and among its contents, officers found two small bags of cannabis and a pepper spray. A bag of cocaine was then found in the driver’s footwell.
Nagy failed a roadside drug wipe, providing positive indications for cocaine and cannabis. The results of the subsequent tests found that he had 144 micrograms per litre of cocaine in his blood – which is over 14 times above the specified limit – and 3.4mg/litre of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis), the limit for this being 2mg/litre.
Pc George Laflin, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team and the pursuing officer, said: “James Nagy was already risking the lives of other road users the moment he got behind the wheel of the car with that truly frightening amount of cocaine in his system, not to mention the cannabis also present.
“To then drive at speeds in excess of 130mph, in what were wet road conditions, is both dangerous and reckless beyond belief. It is extremely fortunate that no one was harmed as a result of his mindless actions that night.
“Drug/drink-driving is one of the fatal four main causes of serious or fatal collisions and we will continue to identify those who would jeopardise the lives of others with their selfish actions and remove them from our roads.”
– Footage from the pursuit can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/507909426