Panicked man leads police on chase

A man began his prison term just seven hours after a needless high-speed drive-off to avoid his fifth drink-driving conviction.

Iain Robertson Clark, 33, waived his right to a pre-sentence report and asked to be sentenced straight away by Judge Noel Walsh at his appearance in the Christchurch District Court today.

He committed his five offences about 4am. He began his two-month jail term at 11am.

Clark pleaded guilty to charges of breaching prison release conditions from an earlier jail term that banned him from drinking and imposed a night-time curfew.

He also admitted failing to remain stopped for police who administered a drink-driving check, dangerous driving and failing to stop for a police car using its flashing lights and siren.

Clark, a pottery-mould maker from South New Brighton, was drinking at a friend's house and left late at night.

Police stopped him in Pages Rd at 3.50am today and breath-tested him. The result was just over the legal limit of 400 micrograms of alcohol to a litre of breath.

Defence counsel Shannon-Leigh Litt said Clark panicked and took off.

Police said he reached 110kmh in Pages Rd in a residential area before turning into another street, where he abandoned the car and took off through properties and over fences.

Police kept up the chase and a police dog eventually got hold of him.

Clark was limping badly in court.

When the police gave him the required second breath test he was under the limit and he has not been charged with drink-driving.

He told police he panicked when he thought how he had let everyone down.

Litt said Clark accepted that he would get a short jail term, and Judge Walsh imposed a two-month term and a nine-month driving disqualification.

The Press