Drunk driver jailed after leading police on 130mph chase in Bentley while high on cocaine

·2 min read
Richard Bowser led police on a high-speed chase while he was high on cocaine. (Durham)
Richard Bowser led police on a high-speed chase while he was high on cocaine. (Durham)

A drunk driver has been jailed after he tried to escape police in his Bentley at 130mph while high on cocaine.

Richard Bowser, 44, led police on a high-speed pursuit in his 550-horsepower sports car before crashing it into a stationary patrol car on 23 May this year.

A photographer caught an image of the Bentley Continental GT, with all four wheels off the ground, a split second before impact.

The car, which had a personalised registration plate, continued to career onwards after smashing into the patrol car, strewing debris in the road.

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Then Bowser got out of the sports car and fled the scene.

He was jailed on 12 July at Durham Crown Court for 18 months, Durham Police said.

The defendant, from Bishop Auckland, got into the car after consuming what police called a "vast quantity of cocaine".

He was wanted on suspicion of assault and officers spotted him heading towards Tow Law on the A68.

Here, he crossed into the opposite side of the road to overtake traffic and made off from police at speed.

Between Tow Law and Willington, Bowser reached speeds of up to 130mph.

He was also seen carrying out out multiple high-risk manoeuvres, darting past traffic and pedestrians at "terrifying" speeds, the force said.

One of the pursuing officers later described witnessing a young girl watch in horror as the Bentley careered past her.

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Showing no signs of stopping, Bowser was finally slowed down on his way out of Willington when he attempted to take a sharp bend at 90mph, mounted the kerb and collided with a stationary police car.

A police volunteer photographer, who was a passenger in the vehicle, captured the moment that all four of the Bentley's wheels left the road.

Bowser finally came to a halt half-a-mile away in an industrial estate and was tasered and in handcuffs within seconds.

He admitted dangerous driving, drink-driving and drug-driving.

He was jailed for 18 months, disqualified from driving for 45 months, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of 拢156, the force said.

Outside court, Inspector Ian Leach, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: "Bowser's actions were appalling, and his recklessness could so easily have had catastrophic consequences.

"He demonstrated a total disregard for the safety of others as soon as he got behind the wheel of his car under the influence of alcohol and cocaine."

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