A MOTORIST whose driving was described as a “relatively lengthy and appalling piece of driving” has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Jake Benjamin Dixon, 29, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday after he admitted charges of driving dangerously and of driving while above the legal limit for alcohol on January 10.

“At approximately 9pm a witness, Sean Stroud, was driving a vehicle on the A596 in Workington when he spotted a blue vehicle going extremely slowly,” explained prosecutor Julian Goode.

He then saw the car speed off into Workington, at which point Mr Stroud began to follow the Toyota Yaris car before pulling over to contact police and then resuming the chase.

“The car continued to zigzag all the way – had it been daytime the car would have been clipping cars all the way,” continued Mr Goode.

During the period of dangerous driving Dixon, of St John’s Court in Hensingham, also collided with the Lillyhall roundabout, as well as mounting the pavement nearby.

“Mr Stroud was struggling to keep up with the vehicle due to the speed,” said Mr Goode. “The defendant sped through traffic lights, past the police station and towards Seaton and at the roundabout he slammed on the brakes.

“At this point Mr Stroud managed to get the registration details of the vehicle.”

Police soon arrived and found Dixon inside the car with the keys in the ignition and his seatbelt fastened. He was asked to perform a roadside breath test and was subsequently arrested.

Officers at the scene described Dixon’s condition as intoxicated.

The lowest of two breath tests found Dixon to have 151 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Brendan Burke, defending, said: “I am encouraging maximum credit for his guilty plea. He tells me the vast amount of alcohol in his body was still in his system from the day before.”

Mr Burke praised the work ethic of his client, saying he works seven days a week, “to make sure he is providing for his five-year-old son”. He asked the court to consider: “What I have already suggested, combined with a willingness to address what appears to be the only problem in his life – alcohol.”

Recorder Richard Archer praised the actions of Sean Stroud in helping police to identify and catch Dixon, saying of the defendant: “You were responsible for some appalling driving on the streets of Workington. It was a relatively lengthy and appalling period of driving.”

Recorder Archer sentenced Dixon to six months in prison for dangerous driving and a four-month sentence for excess alcohol, which will run concurrently to the first sentence. He suspended the sentence for 18 months and disqualified him from driving for four years. He must also complete 15 rehabilitation days and pay a victim surcharge.