Dangerous driver's 'utterly idiotic' decision to flee police in BMW before trying to escape over fence

-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)
-Credit: (Image: Hull Live)


A panicking drink-driver hurtled along streets at frightening speeds of up to 90mph after he made the "utterly idiotic" decision to "put his foot on the accelerator" when he suddenly spotted the police just after 12.30am.

Andrew Mackenzie led police on a hair-raising chase, including driving through two sets of red traffic lights, at a "grossly excessive speed" before abruptly stopping his BMW and desperately trying to run off.

It was only by "sheer good fortune" that nobody was seriously hurt or even killed during his "reckless" attempt at "evading the police", Hull Crown Court heard. Mackenzie, 33, of Sullivan Road, off Boothferry Road, west Hull, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving on February 20.

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Abigail Rowley, prosecuting, said that police were driving in Hawthorn Road, west Hull, when they spotted Mackenzie in a silver BMW at 12.34am and followed him. He accelerated away at high speed and headed straight out of a junction at Carlton Street. The police followed him as he drove at high speed on Hessle Road towards Askew Avenue.

Mackenzie drove at about 80mph in 30mph limits and he braked heavily and went through red traffic lights towards Anlaby Park Road North at 90mph in a 30mph zone. "Officers activated their blue lights in an attempt to stop the driver, however the vehicle failed to stop and went through another red traffic light," said Miss Rowley.

The car came to a stop in the St Thomas More Road area and Mackenzie tried to run away from the scene by jumping over a nearby fence. Police ran after him and he was detained. A passenger had been in the car during the chase.

A breath test reading taken at 12.55am revealed that he had 66mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

"There is a deliberate decision to disregard the rules of the road," said Miss Rowley. During police interview, Mackenzie made no comment to all questions.

He had convictions for 26 previous offences between 2007 and 2020, including robbery in 2020 as well as failing to stop for police and failing to provide a breath specimen. Michael Forrest, mitigating, said that, when Mackenzie spotted the police, he should have accepted that he would be arrested for drink-driving rather than speeding off.

"He made an utterly idiotic decision when he saw the police to put his foot on the accelerator," said Mr Forrest. By doing that, he had put himself at risk of going to prison. "He only has himself to blame," said Mr Forrest.

Mackenzie had made very important and sensible steps to try to put himself on the path to rehabilitation. He had previously been "a thorn in his family's side" but he now offered them much-needed support.

"He has repaired a lot of burned bridges with his family," said Mr Forrest. Mackenzie was a landscaper and he "works all hours God sends".

Recorder Anthony Dunne said that to describe Mackenzie's decision to try to escape from the police as "idiotic" was "perhaps the understatement of the century" because of the potential danger.

"It was reckless," said Recorder Dunne. "It was highly likely to lead to serious injury either to yourself or to others. Fortunately, you were caught after a short chase. The passenger in your car was also put at risk by your driving."

Mackenzie was "evading the police" and he was driving at a "grossly excessive speed" in a residential area. "Fortunately, no damage was caused and nobody was injured but that was by sheer good fortune rather than an act of yours," said Recorder Dunne.

Mackenzie was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence, 200 hours' unpaid work and 15 days' rehabilitation. He was banned from driving for three years and he must pass an extended retest before he can drive legally again. He was ordered to pay £150 costs.