Miracle no-one was killed by motorist who bullied drivers off road

PUBLISHED: 16:20 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 04 November 2019

Felix Rooney was sentenced to 14 months in prison and banned from driving for 25 months. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Felix Rooney was sentenced to 14 months in prison and banned from driving for 25 months. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY


A drink driver who bullied other motorists out of the way and forced police to abandon a pursuit has been told it was a ''pure miracle'' no-one was killed.

Felix Rooney, 33, reached speeds of more than 80mph during a chase which police were forced to abandon due to concerns about the safety of others on the road.

Norwich Crown Court heard the dangerous driving lasted about 15 miles from Great Yarmouth to Beccles and involved Gapton Hall Road, Burgh Road, Market Road and the A143.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said police were initially alerted to Rooney, who was driving a Mercedes, after members of the public described him as being "intoxicated" in the vehicle in the Gapton Hall Road area of Yarmouth.

Police had tried to "box" the vehicle in but Rooney pulled away from where police had tried to stop it and sped off.

Rooney was pursued by police and was "weaving in and out" of oncoming traffic on single carriageway roads, at one point travelling in excess of 80mph in a 40mph zone.

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He said there came a point when police "gave up" their attempt to stop him as it was too dangerous to continue.

Mr Ivory described how Rooney had been "bullying" other motorists he came across and had been "relentlessly pushing forward trying to get people out of the way as he wasn't going to stop".

When Rooney did eventually stop, following the incident on September 16 this year, Rooney was found to have 73mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Rooney, 33, of Gapton Hall Road, Yarmouth, appeared at court on Monday (28) to be sentenced having previously admitted dangerous driving, drink driving and failure to stop.

Sentencing him to 14 months in prison, Judge Stephen Holt said it was a "pure miracle and a matter of luck that no-one was killed or injured" as a result of one of the "worst dangerous driving cases this court has seen".

He jailed Rooney for a total of 14 months and banned him from driving for 25 months.

Danielle O'Donovan, mitigating, said his best piece of mitigation was his early guilty plea.

She said Rooney, a member of the travelling community, had been deeply affected by the loss of his brother to testicular cancer and took to alcohol, as he had done on this day, rather than talk about it.

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