Oliver James Rutter

Christmas in prison for Harrogate man found drug driving

17 December 2018

A Harrogate man found drug driving will spend Christmas in prison.

Oliver James Rutter, of Grantley Drive, Harrogate, has been jailed for 10 weeks after being convicted of a number of motoring offences.

  • 21 August 2018 – Police stopped a Ford Fiesta driven by the 28-year-old on this year. After making enquiries, officers charged him with drug driving and driving without insurance or an appropriate licence
  • 28 August, the same officer stopped him again, driving the same car, and Rutter was charged with exactly the same offences.

Blood tests showed Rutter was over the prescribed limit for cannabis, cocaine and BZE (cocaine metabolite) on the first stop. He tested positive for cannabis following the second stop.

  • 10 December2018 – due in court for a trial on  but failed to turn up.

Officers had to search for him after he failed to attend court but Rutter eventually handed himself in at a police station two days later.

He was remanded in custody by York Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, after pleading guilty to drug driving and having no licence or insurance.

Magistrates said his driving presented a “severe risk to the public” and said they had no option but to send him to prison for 10 weeks. (Sentenced to 20 weeks overall: 2x ten weeks concurrent)

He was banned from driving for 18 months.

Rutter was also subject to a community order at the point of sentence for failing to stop for police and drug offences.

After the hearing, Harrogate-based PC Adam Smith who made the arrests said:

I first encountered Rutter on Christmas Day 2017 when I dealt with him for other driving offences.

A year later due to his persistent offending and a proactive approach by police, he will now be spending this Christmas behind bars.

He continued to be a menace on the road and put innocent motorists at risk since then, and has been caught committing various offences – and at one point even failed to stop for police, putting further lives at risk.

As our Christmas drink and drug drive campaign continues, this case serves as a timely reminder about the way the courts perceive drink and drug drivers. They can and do hand out significant sentences to thos caught breaking the law, including time in prison.

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