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Drink-driver who led police on 100mph A47 chase is jailed

PUBLISHED: 08:30 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 16 February 2019

Liam O'Grady leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Liam O'Grady leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. PIC: Peter Walsh.

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A drink-driver who led police on a chase which reached speeds of up to 100mph on the A47 has been jailed after a judge branded it "extremely reckless".

Police received a call about a suspected drink-driver on the A47 and put on their blue lights as driver Liam O’Grady failed to stop.

The pursuit started at North Tuddenham at about 3am on Saturday, December 29 last year and lasted for almost six miles through Swanton Morley and Little Fransham, where the speed limit is just 40mph.

Norwich Crown Court heard the pursuit came to an end after a “dramatic” exit onto the A1065 at Sporle Road.

Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said the pursuing police cars “drove right up to” O’Grady’s vehicle” to ensure he was not able to escape following the chase.

After being stopped O’Grady failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 42 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

O’Grady, 30, of Mill Road, Nottingham, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday having previously admitted dangerous driving, drink-driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

He has 24 previous convictions for 42 offences, including two for driving with excess alcohol.

Jude Durr, for O’Grady, who had been on his way back to Nottingham at the time, said he was still a young man but admitted he had a “poor history of offending”.

He said his guilty pleas were his best mitigation and asked that he be given full credit.

Mr Durr also described how the defendant had been described as a big help by his mother, who has had both her legs amputated.

He said she saw him “not just as a son but a best friend”.

Mr Durr said the driving was not over a “significant distance” and added that the alcohol reading was “not the highest”.

Jailing O’Grady for 12 months, judge Maureen Bacon said it was “an extremely reckless thing to do”.

Judge Bacon said it was now his third conviction for driving with excess alcohol.

O’Grady was also banned from driving for three years and six months and ordered to take an extended re-test before he can drive.

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