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Man sentenced after dangerously driving at more than 150mph

A man who drove at more than 150mph on a motorway and went through a red light at over 100mph in a residential area in a bid to evade police has been sentenced.

Nathan Batha, of Watkiss Drive, Rugeley, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in Cheshire, failing to stop for the police and driving without insurance.

The charges relate to the 19-year-old’s driving of a black Audi in the early hours of Sunday 13 December.

An officer from Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit spotting the car travelling at excess speed through Junction 17 of the M6 northbound in Sandbach at around 3.50am.

He pursued the vehicle, which reached speeds over 150mph before hitting several cones and entering a coned off area of the motorway.

The officer was forced to stop pursuing the car for safety reasons, after witnessing it overtake and undertake other vehicles at excessive speed.

A colleague in the Roads and Crime Unit driving an unmarked police car subsequently followed the Audi, as did a Merseyside Police officer.

After it had exited the motorway at Junction 21, the officers witnessed the Audi travel along the A57 Manchester Road in Warrington at more than 105mph.

It went through a red traffic light at over 100mph on the road with a 40mph speed limit.

The officer who originally pursued the car was lying in wait on Manchester Road with a stinger, thanks to his communications with his colleagues.

It was successfully deployed, bursting one of the Audi’s tyres.

Despite having a flat tyre, Batha continued to attempt to flee the officers.

After going around a roundabout in the wrong direction at Junction 21 of the M6, the Audi he was driving was boxed in by the officers on the slip road leading to the northbound side of the motorway.

Batha was arrested and interviewed in custody.

He refused to answer any questions, but with officers having dashcam footage of his driving offences Batha was always going to be charged and he had little option other than to admit the charges.

Batha was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 16 June and was jailed for 12 months.

Police Constable Chris Jones, who led the investigation into the driving offences at Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, said: “Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of Nathan Batha’s dangerous driving on both the M6 and in a residential area of Warrington. The consequences of this incident could have been far worse.

“Speed limits are in place for a reason – travelling at an unsafe speed is one of the main causes of deaths on our roads.

“By speeding on the M6, and then driving at over 150mph on the motorway and over 105pm on a road with a 40mph limit in a bid to escape punishment for the manner of his driving, Batha put his life and the lives of other road users at risk.

“Thankfully, our pursuit of him, aided by a colleague at Merseyside Police, was brought to a safe conclusion and Batha is now facing the consequences of his actions.

“I hope that this case deters others from driving dangerously in Cheshire and failing to stop for the police.”

Superintendent Jon Betts, head of Cheshire Constabulary’s Roads and Crime Unit, added: “We take dangerous driving offences very seriously at the force and anyone found travelling dangerously at excess speed will be dealt with robustly.

“Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right, and it comes with great responsibility to act within the rules laid down when you pass your test.

“When you deliberately ignore those rules, you put yourself and other people at considerable risk.

“Speeding reduces your time to react and deal with things like changes in driving conditions and actions taken by other road users.

“It also magnifies other driver errors, such as travelling too close to other vehicles or driving or riding when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of causing an accident.

“It is no surprise then that speeding is one of the five main contributory factors that cause serious road traffic collisions.

“The others are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving carelessly, not wearing a seat belt and driving while using a mobile phone.

“Together, these are known as the Fatal 5.

“We launched our Fatal 5 campaign at the beginning of 2019 to raise awareness of the importance of driving safely, adhering to speed limits and not committing any potentially deadly driving offences.

“The message for motorists is don’t put your life, and the lives of other road users and pedestrians, at risk – slow down, pay attention, wear your seat belt, put your phone down, don’t drink or drug drive and make sure that your vehicle is safe for the roads.”

Pictured - Nathan Batha, of Watkiss Drive, Rugeley, Staffordshire.

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