A drunk-driver who was stopped in a police chase after driving the wrong way down the M40 in Warwickshire for more than 10 miles has been jailed.
Tony Chapman, 62, of Aspley Hearth Lane, Tanworth-in-Arden, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and a licence, failing to provide a breath test, driving while drunk, possession of cannabis, dangerous driving and taking a vehicle without consent.
On Wednesday July 5 at Worcester Crown Court, Chapman was sentenced to 19 months in prison, banned from driving for five years and nine months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
On Sunday May 7, police received a report of a white Toyota Rav4 being driven by Chapman travelling the wrong way on the M40 from junction 15 (Warwick) at around 1.45am.
His car was seen weaving across the road and vehicles travelling the correct way on the northbound carriageway were taking evasive action to avoid colliding with the car.
A rolling road closure was put in place by police to keep other motorists safe.
PC John Martin and PC Chris Bradley from the Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG) were waiting for the vehicle further down the road and when it left the M40 in Worcestershire to join to the M42 at around 70 miles per hour, they turned on their blue lights in an effort to slow the car.
The car passed without slowing and the officers were forced to use ‘tactical contact’ to force the car against the central reservation before finally bringing it to a halt.
Chapman was removed from the vehicle and arrested. During interview, he said he had no recollection of driving the car.
PC John Martin said: “It was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured. Chapman can count himself very lucky.
“He put the lives of other road users at risk and the prison sentence reflects the severity of what he did.”
And Superintendent Dean Hatton from CMPG added: “Officers acted quickly, professionally and with incredible bravery to protect the public from this reckless and criminal behaviour. They are a credit to policing.”