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Drug-fuelled dangerous driver caught at 128mph on the M5

A drug-fuelled dangerous driver who accelerated to at least 128 mph as he tried to escape police on the M5 has avoided an immediate jail sentence at Gloucester crown court.

Amphetamine addict Stanley Major, 40, of Hillmead, Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire, was driving South on the motorway near Gloucester at 1am on Aug 29 last year when police patrol officers saw him speeding at junction 11A and gave chase, prosecutor Nicola Wood told the court on Monday (July 26).

There was then a three minute pursuit during which Major reached almost twice the national speed limit, she said.

The police activated their blue lights and indicated to the driver to pull over but he ignored them and turned off at junction 12.

"In the process of doing this he undertook a car and went through a red traffic light," said the prosecutor. "The driver then continued at speeds of 80mph in a 60mph zone towards the Cross Hands Roundabout.

"Eventually, he complied with the police request to stop the vehicle, which had a number of passengers inside."

Major was breathalysed and given a roadside drug test, which confirmed he had drugs in his system, Ms Wood said. He was arrested and taken into custody.

James McKenna, defending, said: "After being stopped by the police Major complied with all their requests and handed over his car keys when asked.

"Fortunately nobody was injured or worse during this pursuit. This offence has enabled Major to engage with the relevant bodies in helping him address his amphetamine addiction, which he is slowly weaning himself off.

"He has been addicted to this and other drugs for the past 15 years and a community order as part of his sentence that lasts longer than six months would be appreciated by him as a shorter time period is not long enough to rid himself of his controlled drug habit.

"He is a self-employed man and has a young family to support."

Major pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess cocaine and amphetamine in his body, driving without insurance or a valid driving licence and failing to stop for the police.

The judge, Recorder Anna Richardson, told Major: "You have a very poor record of driving offences which begins in 1998 with you being convicted for dangerous driving.

"On December 30 last year you were given a suspended jail sentence for driving under the influence of drugs and you are currently disqualified from driving. However, this offence postdates the current offence.

"Your offending demonstrates a flagrant disregard of the rules of the road, exceeding the speed limit, even on the motorway where it was almost by a factor of two and you drove through red traffic lights. These are very serious matters.

"Driving at this speed on motorways is dangerous as you have no time to react and this means that you are at a greater risk of having an accident, which would probably be fatal.

"The seriousness of this is aggravated because you were under the influence of two controlled drugs.

"However, you have shown remorse and insight into the situation and realise the consequences could have been much worse.

"It is suggested in the pre-sentence report that you were encouraged to do this by a friend - which, if true, would mean you could be susceptible to influences while in custody. It is for this reason, and because there is a chance of rehabilitation, that I will be suspending the prison sentence.

"Your addiction to amphetamine is of concern. However, you are currently detoxing from this."

The judge sentenced Major to 12 months prison suspended for 24 months and placed him on a two-month home curfew between 7pm and 7am each night. She also ordered him to attend 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days as well as a monthly judicial review.

The judge also disqualified Major from driving for one year and ordered him to take an extended re-test when the disqualification period has expired. Major was also ordered to pay court costs of £250 and a £156 victim surcharge.

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