A drunk Amazon delivery driver has sparked a dangerous police chase after being caught over the limit at McDonald’s – then did the same weeks later while banned and on bail.
Police were called to the wheel of the fast-paced takedown in South Shields after Corey Gray went over the limit in his work van. He tried to get away from the pursuing police car, driving at high speed and dangerously with one hand on the wheel for most of the chase.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he was later seen driving a car by the same sergeant who first arrested him, after he appeared in court and received a provisional disqualification while his case progressed through the system. He again failed to stop and started a chase, then refused to take a breath test when fitted with a collar.
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Now the 23-year-old, from Canterbury Street, South Shields, has been given a suspended prison sentence after he admitted to two counts of dangerous driving, excessive drinking, failure to provide a specimen, driving disqualification and lack of insurance.
The court heard that it was around 10:40 p.m. on November 11 last year that Gray drove to McDonald’s in a Peugeot van he was using as part of his job delivering items for Amazon. Police arrived quickly after being alerted to the possibility of a drunk driver.
Gray went off, doing 50mph in a 30 zone then 80-90mph on the A19. During the chase, he rounded the central reserve bollards upside down. He finally stopped and got out and turned out to be about double the drinking limit.
Paul Reid, prosecuting, said: “When questioned he said he had a few cans and went to get some food. He said it was a ‘crazy moment’ and that he didn’t care and realized he wasn’t going to run away, that’s why he stopped.”
Gray appeared in court for this case and received an interim driving ban. In January of this year. A judge adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be compiled. But at 1:45 a.m. on February 24, Gray was spotted by the same sergeant who first arrested him, driving a high-speed Ford Focus in South Shields.
Mr Reid said: “He braked hard when he saw the police, hesitated and then drove off trying to hide his face. The officer chased him and the car accelerated to 60mph in an area 30.”
Gray lost and then regained control of the car, ran through a red light at 60mph and ran up a curb before stopping and trying to get away but was caught. Mr Reid told the court: “He lay down and said ‘I’m sorry, I’m banned’. The sergeant recognized him and he was clearly drunk.
“There were dozens of cans of lager in the car, some open and some unopened. He refused to take a breath test and said he hadn’t been drinking but was obviously extremely drunk .”
Judge Stephen Earl gave Gray a 12-month suspended sentence for two years with a six-month curfew, a driving ban and an alcohol treatment requirement.
Jessica Slaughter, defending, said: “There was no damage, no collisions and no injuries. Luckily these weren’t busy roads.” Miss Slaughter added that Gray had just received bad news about his grandmother before the first offense and that the second happened on the day of his aunt’s funeral when he made the ‘foolish decision’ to go to Durham to pick up a suit.
She said he had a drinking problem but did not drink immediately before driving on this occasion, although he was under the influence. Miss Slaughter said Gray had never had any trouble with the police before and added: ‘His mental health is fragile and he feels incredible remorse.
The court heard he lost his job at Amazon and hopes to find a job at Nissan.