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Drink driver jailed for two years

PUBLISHED: 03:52 28 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

A DRINK driver who committed a string of motoring offences on Ipswich roads before crashing into a police car has been jailed for two years

David Woods, 22, was spotted by police on July 11 driving at 80 miles per hour in a built up area, driving without headlights to avoid detection, ignoring police sirens and red traffic lights and going the wrong way up a one way street.

A DRINK driver who committed a string of motoring offences on Ipswich roads before crashing into a police car has been jailed for two years

David Woods, 22, was spotted by police on July 11 driving at 80 miles per hour in a built up area, driving without headlights to avoid detection, ignoring police sirens and red traffic lights and going the wrong way up a one way street.

The crazed driver was eventually stopped two-and-a-half-hours after he was initially spotted, when he collided into a police car that was attempting to block his way.

Woods was eventually arrested and appeared at magistrates court in Ipswich the next day. He was bailed but hours after being released he stole a woman's handbag from a town centre restaurant.

After a warrant was executed for his arrest Woods, who previously lived in a hostel in Basildon, Essex, pleaded guilty to drink driving, dangerous driving, making off without payment, driving without insurance or test certificate and theft of a handbag.

At a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court he was sentenced to a total of 24 months in custody, of which he will serve at least a year behind bars.

Jeremy Dugdale, prosecuting, told the court that between 1.30am and 4am on July 11 Woods played a game of "cat and mouse" with police from behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta.

During that period he drove to the Shell garage in Grove Road and sped off without paying for nearly £30 of petrol.

Mr Dugdale said that just after 4am a police car blocked the path of the Fiesta. However Woods crashed his car, causing £250 damage to the police car, before running away.

Mr Dugdale added: "He was captured by officers who had to use an extendable baton to persuade Mr Woods to co-operate. After he had been struck once he did fully co-operate."

A breath test revealed Woods was over the drink drive limit, measuring 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breathe. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

After appearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court the day after his arrest Woods stole a handbag from a customer in Keo Bar Bistro, in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

Customers pursued him to St Francis Tower where he chucked the bag from a window, minus a purse, make-up and other goods. He made a no comment interview with police but later pleaded guilty to the offence.

Martin Kingerley, in mitigation, said his client had shown remorse for the offences since being remanded in custody. He added the offences had been committed at a time when Woods had been experiencing problems in his personal life.

In sentencing judge Brian Watling described the catalogue of offences as "appalling".

Woods was jailed for a total of two years and banned from driving for three. He was told he will have to take a test again before being allowed back on the road.

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