Addict driver mounted curb outside Derbyshire school so he could detox in prison

A dangerous driver who was in the grip of a hard drug addiction decided to fully mount a curb outside a school in a deliberate attempt to get arrested so that he could deal with his issues in prison. Luke Carlisle forced pedestrians to jump out of the way when all four wheels of his silver BMW mounted the pavement as parents collected their children and then dangerously overtook several vehicles during a police chase.

The 38-year-old had been spotted behind the wheel of the BMW while disqualified on September 21, 2021, and led police on a pursuit down King Edward Street and Portland Road in Shirebrook, prosecutor Steffan Fox told Derby Crown Court. Hours later, after police lost sight of him, he was arrested after being found hiding in an upstairs bedroom of his girlfriend’s property in the town and immediately confessed, with the car – which had false number plates – sitting on the drive.

Carlisle had been disqualified from driving for three years as punishment for offences committed in 2018, one of his 21 convictions for 46 previous offences. He later pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to counts of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

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Defending Carlisle, William Bennett told the court that Carlisle – who was previously addicted to class A drugs – had got clean during a previous 10-year prison term but after his grandfather died and his partner miscarried, he went back to using narcotics, which led to two failed attempts to take his own life. Mr Bennett said that Carlisle drove away in an attempt to get arrested so that he could deal with his substance abuse issues, and the car had false plates because “he was in with that kind of crowd”.

Mr Bennett told the court: “It is an awful record and an awful record for dangerous driving and it is a bad example of it. It is a very peculiar reason as to why he did what he did but it seems to stack up. This defendant has caused quite a lot of harm to other people in his life. Unfortunately for him the lifestyle that he chose to live has caused quite a lot of damage to himself.

“He came out from the 10-year sentence quite a different man to the man who went in. [After his grandfather’s death and partner’s miscarriage] He found himself unable to function. He is a weak man where class A drugs are concerned. They don’t do you any favours in the long run. By the time that this offence takes place, his class A drug use was absolutely out of control.

“He was desperate and when he saw the police he decided that if he managed to get picked up for failing to stop, he could be sent to prison, where he could sort himself out. He obviously was not thinking clearly. It is not well thought through because if you drive like that you put the public at immense risk.

“He goes quietly but he says to the officers a telling comment – ‘I was driving the BMW and I threw the car keys over the fence’. There is no attempt to try and say that he was not the driver. He is not complaining about this because he knows that this offending is worthy of at least 12 months if not more.”

Mr Bennett told the court that Carlisle, of Valley Road, Mansfield, had completed a methadone script and drug detox while on remand at HMP Lincoln, from where he appeared via a video link. He said his client was feeling “an awful lot better” and had discovered that “if you ask for help, things get better”.

Sentencing Carlisle to an overall term of 14 months in prison on Monday, March 21, Recorder Justin Wigoder said: “Mr Carlisle, I accept what Mr Bennett says, that there are two bits of good news in this case. Firstly, your plea of guilty, which of course gives you credit of a third, and secondly that the period that you have been in custody has enabled you to do a detox program and you are completely drug-free.

“You have a bad record for offences concerning motor vehicles and driving while disqualified, in addition to more serious criminal matters for which you received a very long sentence. This is a serious case of dangerous driving, exacerbated by your previous convictions and record, exacerbated by the fact that you were driving while disqualified, and needless to say, had no insurance.”

Carlisle was given a 14-month sentence for dangerous driving and a concurrent four-month sentence for driving while disqualified. He had his licence endorsed for driving without insurance, but was given no further penalty.

He was disqualified from driving for three years and 11 months. He must pass an extended retest to be allowed to drive again and must pay a victim surcharge.