Police chase drink driver at 100mph on Wetherby Road in Harrogate

13 April 2018

A drunk driver who attempted to evade traffic cops during a 24-minute pursuit in the Harrogate district has been jailed for a string of motoring offences.

Christopher Lawrence Newton, 22, of South Street, Scarborough, appeared at York Crown Court today (Friday 13 April 2018) where he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment after earlier pleading guilty to dangerous driving, drink driving, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and aggravated vehicle taking.

He has also been handed an 18 month driving ban and ordered to undertake an extended driving test on completion of the ban.

Newton was driving a silver Toyota Auris on Skipton Road, Harrogate, at around 4.40am on Friday 2 March 2018, when he initially failed to stop for Roads Policing Group officers.

He had taken the car from outside a pub in Farnham.

A police pursuit lasting 24 minutes ensued. It ended when the Toyota came to a halt due to a mechanical fault on Prospect Road in Starbeck.




Key events in the footage are outlined below: 

  • 04:40:00 – Vehicle driven by Newton initially sighted on Skipton Road, Harrogate
  • 04:41:10 – Newton fails to stop and pursuit commences
  • 04:43:20 – Newton accelerates to a speed in excess of 100mph on Wetherby Road, Harrogate (40mph maximum limit)
  • 04:45:00 – Dangerous overtake on a van on the A658, causing an oncoming car to take evasive action
  • 04:47:15 – Newton contravenes red automatic traffic signal on York Road, Knaresborough, passing over this junction at 60mph
  • 04:49:45 – Turns right onto Bogs Lane, Starbeck.  This section of road was not treated and particularly treacherous due to snow fall over the previous days. Newton reaches speeds of up to 40mph
  • 04:52:50 – Newton contravenes four “keep left” islands and signs on Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, continuing on the opposing carriageway
  • 04:54:25 – Newton continues into the centre of Harrogate on West Park Street then Parliament Street at speeds reaching 65mph.  He then contravenes a red automatic traffic signal at the bottom of Parliament Street
  • 04:55:10 – Newton exceeds 80mph on Ripon Road, Harrogate (30mph maximum limit)
  • 04:57:10 – Dangerous overtake, Ripon Road, Killinghall, on two heavy goods vehicles on a blind right-hand bend
  • 05:00:40 – Newton reaches a speed of 80mph on the B6165, Scotton (40mph limit) and continues on Riply Road towards Knaresborough in a 30mph maximum zone at speeds in excess of 60mph
  • 05:03:30 – Newton continues towards Knaresborough. Vehicle develops a mechanical fault and smoking. Continues onto the High Street, Starbeck, at speeds up to 60mph
  • 05:04:00 – Thick black smoke from rear of car. Vehicle turns left onto Prospect Road and stops. Newton can be seen being removed from the vehicle and detained by officers




The pursuit itself took place around Harrogate, Killinghall, Ripley, Knaresborough and Starbeck.

Following his arrest, a test confirmed Newton had 164 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – the legal limit is 80 milligrammes of alcohol.

He was charged in relation to this incident and he was also recalled to prison after breaking his release licence for a previous offence.


Christopher Lawrence Newton, 22, of South Street, Scarborough
Christopher Lawrence Newton, 22, of South Street, Scarborough


Traffic Constable David Minto, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said:

At the time of this incident, Newton had been driving a stolen car whilst over the prescribed limit for alcohol and with absolutely no regard for the safety of other road-users.

He continually drove at high speed, disobeyed red traffic light signals, and carried out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres which put other motorists and pedestrians at great risk.

I am satisfied with the outcome at court. Newton now has further time to consider his irresponsible and shocking behaviour from behind bars, which is clearly the best place for him at this moment in time.



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