Drug dealer and mum-of-three jailed after high-speed police chase with five-year-old child in the car
A young mother and a drug dealer who got into a high speed police chase with a five-year-old child in the car have been jailed.
Stephen Irwin, 32, hit speeds of more than 70mph on residential roads, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, forcing other motorists to swerve out of the way.
One cyclist was forced to jump onto a grass verge to avoid being hit by the Saab Irwin was driving, with Natasha Graham, 25, as a passenger, while police pursuing the car ended up abandoning the pursuit because of safety concerns.
Carlisle Crown Court was shown video footage of Irwin turning right into oncoming traffic at the M6 Junction 44 roundabout to drive north along the A7 towards Longtown, Cumbria, hitting speeds of more than 70mph as he swerved among traffic, later abandoning the car after crashing through a fence.
In the following days, Irwin booked into a Carlisle hotel with mother-of-three Graham and together they operated a lucrative drug dealing operation, the court heard.
Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said staff at the County Hotel became suspicious after the pair booked two rooms which began receiving a constant stream of visitors over the next few days.
In one of the rooms, police found a 46.6gram rock of cocaine with a potential street value just below £5,000.
Police officers also seized cash from the two defendants – £1,313 from Irwin, and £230 from Graham.
Pub chain Samuel Smith’s reportedly bans use of mobile phones, saying pubs are ‘for social conversation’
Pilot on Emiliano Sala flight was ‘colour-blind and not allowed to fly at night’
Kitten has surgery after his kidney grew so big it ‘poked out of his abdomen’
Irwin, from Carlisle, admitted dangerous driving on February 1 as well as possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
Graham, also from Carlisle, admitted two counts of possessing cocaine with intent to supply – one of these while she was in the County Hotel with Irwin on February 6, and another when she was arrested with 21-year-old Steven Kidd in Botchergate, North Yorkshire, on December 29, 2017.
Kidd was arrested on December 29 when police saw Graham dropping him off from her car. When he was searched, police found he was carrying nine snap bags of cocaine, worth between £265 and £360.
He pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine and possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.
Irwin was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and disqualified from driving for 69 months, Graham was jailed for three years and nine months, and Kidd for three and a half years.
Judge Peter Davies , who was shown a series of video clips of Irwin’s driving as he fled from police, said he had taken a monumental risk.
“God only knows how a catastrophe was averted,” he said. “It was an appalling piece of driving from someone with two previous convictions for dangerous driving.”
Karen Tunnacliffe, defending Irwin, said he was grateful nobody was killed or seriously injured and had worked hard in prison to address his issues.
Hugh McKee, for Graham, said she had asked to become a mentor for other prisoners while in custody, while Neil Ronan, for Kidd, said he had started dealing cocaine to fund his own addiction.