A disqualified driver who was caught drunk behind the wheel of a car he took without the owner’s consent was sent to prison on Tuesday.
Handing Peter Gordon an 18-month sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC said: “There comes a period of time when the only disposal that the courts can give to driving of this nature when people are disqualified is a custodial sentence.”
The 34-year old, from Belfast’s Antrim Road, was also banned from driving for five years.
Prior to sending Gordon to jail, Judge Kerr was told that officers spotted a Honda Civic being driven at around 4am on Friday November 3 last year with two men on board. When they checked the vehicle’s details, it emerged the car was registered to a female.
When officers then tried to get the vehicle to stop, it was driven away from police, resulting in a chase. Gordon was seen to jump several red lights and break the speed limit in the city centre and the Falls area.
Prosecutor Simon Jenkins told Belfast Crown Court that the chase moved onto the M1, where Gordon drove at speeds of up to 100mph and at one point was seen to undertake a lorry. He then left the motorway at Moira, where he stopped the vehicle.
After being removed from the Honda by police, officers noticed the smell of alcohol. He was arrested and failed a subsequent breath test. He said the car was his partner’s, he had taken it without her consent and he initially fled from police as he didn’t have a licence. Gordon also told police he decided to stop at Moira as it was “getting dangerous.”
Mr Jenkins revealed Gordon was banned from driving for ten years in 2013.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay spoke of his client’s good work record which includes being employed as a tiler and brick layer.
The barrister added that when he finally stopped the car, Gordon “admitted everything.”
Jailing Gordon for four offences including driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving, Judge Kerr also activated three months of a previous suspended sentence - bringing Gordon’s total sentence to 21 months.