Drink driver led police on a high speed chase through Tewkesbury—(Glouscester Citizen)

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Gloucester Citizen.

Monday, May 18, 2009, 08:11

SSRI Stories Note:  The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse.  Also,the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously,  thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body. 

Drink-driver Mark Turner led police on a dangerous high-speed chase through Tewkesbury , a court was told.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard the 70mph pursuit through the town centre ended when the car driven by the 25-year-old spun out of control and landed on its roof, injuring his brother who was a passenger.

The pursuit – which was caught on police camera and shown to magistrates – started when police saw a silver Rover driving at high speed down Ashchurch Road, from the direction of Walton Cardiff, at about 12.25am on May 2.

Crown Prosecutor Sharon Green said Turner accelerated to avoid the police vehicle, reaching speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph limit.

She said: “The driver lost control and the vehicle spun off the road and over the verges. He then continued to drive along Barton Street at 40mph before an oncoming police vehicle forced him to slow down.”
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The court heard Turner negotiated his way around the police car, accelerated and continued at a high speed along Barton Street.

Miss Green said Turner reached speeds up to 76mph as he made his way along Gloucester Road.

She said: “He drove along the wrong side of the carriageway and narrowly missed colliding with an oncoming police vehicle.”

The court heard Turner lost control of the car which smashed into a cemetery wall and landed upside down on its roof.

Turner was arrested and taken to the police station where a test showed he had 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

In court, he pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving dangerously in Barton Street, Ashchurch Road, Church Street and Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury, and failing to stop the car in Barton Street after being required to do so by a constable in uniform.

Chris Coleman, for the defence, said: “He expresses his full remorse for his driving and his behaviour on that evening.”

He told the court Turner’s partner left him three months ago and he had gone to a GP asking for medication for depression and tried to commit suicide.

He said Turner had no contact with his partner and two young daughters since she moved to Norfolk. He said Turner also lost his job and was not a drinker before the split.

He said the video footage, which the magistrates had seen, showed the incident lasted for 85 seconds.

Mr Coleman told the court Turner had been drinking before going to a pub in Tewkesbury and then drank two pints of lager in the pub. He said Turner got in the car to drive himself and his brother home.

Mr Coleman said: “He saw a police car. He can’t account for the decisions he made to drive in the way he did.”

He said his client accepted entirely that driving in that way through the town centre at that time of night was dangerous. He said Turner’s brother required hospital treatment and that their relationship had broken down since the incident.

Dr David Rockey, chairman of the bench, ordered a report from the probation service.

He told Turner: “We have seen the video. It’s serious, dangerous and at high risk of injuring innocent people.”

Turner was given an interim driving disqualification and will return to Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on June 11.

After the court proceedings Turner’s mum Anna Lewis, from Northway, said: “He has had a really rough time and this was totally out of character. He didn’t used to drink at all.”