100mph drink driver escapes jail sentence

A drink driver who hit speeds of more than 100mph during a nine-mile police chase just hours after a court appear-ance was again spared jail yesterday.

A drink driver who hit speeds of more than 100mph during a nine-mile police chase just hours after a court appear-ance was again spared jail yesterday.

Derek McKenzie, of Coventry Way, Thetford, drove his car erratically along a hazardous forest road while almost twice the legal drink-drive limit after a night cele-brating his freedom, Thetford Magistrates Court heard.

The 46-year-old admitted charges of dangerous driving and drink driving following the incident on the A134 on October 25 - the same day he was sentenced by the town's magistrates for criminal damage and assaulting a police officer.

McKenzie, who had been given an Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) supervision order at his last court appearance, was yesterday sentenced to six months' prison suspended for two years, a two-month curfew order, and was banned from driving for 28 months.

Susanna Chowdhury, prosecuting, said police began following a silver Ford Escort at about 11.30pm on October 25, which was being driven "erratically" on Norwich Road, Thetford.

But when the officer turned on the police car's blue lights and siren, the car sped up to 70mph in a 40mph zone. McKenzie continued to travel on the A134 where he overtook vehicles in the face of oncoming traffic and reached speeds of more than 100mph, the court heard.

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McKenzie was eventually stopped in Mundford and was breathalysed as having 68mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit being 35mcgs.

Sally Dale, in mitigation, said her client had "deep rooted" problems, including mental health, alcohol and drug issues and had tried to take his own life six weeks ago. She added that it was "extremely fortunate" that no one was injured by McKenzie's actions, but a period of custody would not be constructive.

"He says he came to court on the 25th expecting custody and he did not (go to custody) so he went out to celebrate and foolishly got in his car at the end of the night. He panicked when the blue lights were switched on," she said.

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