Video shows moment Bolton police pull dangerous driver from car wreckage

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The video, from a police officer's bodycam, was played in court as Stefan James-Authe was sentenced for dangerous driving and has now been released by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Recorder Simon Hilton, who sentenced James-Authe, told him that the footage emphasised the defendant's "humiliation".

James-Authe had been drinking with his partner in Bolton town centre on the night of Saturday January 23 when he got into his Volkswagon Golf.

But after being spotted and chased by police, he drove at speeds of up to 70mph on 30mph roads, before hitting a wall and traffic light at the junction of Bradshaw Brow and Turton Road.

The car landed upside down and the officer who had been pursuing him and passers-by pulled 33-year-old James-Authe, who was uninjured, from the wreckage through a side window.

James-Authe wept in the dock when he attended Bolton Crown Court and was given a community sentence by Recorder Simon Hilton after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Keith Jones, prosecuting, told the court how police on patrol first saw James-Authe in a VW Golf at 3am and indicated for him to stop but he sped off.

“At times he drove on the opposite carriageway, into oncoming traffic, through red traffic signals without braking or hesitation, down a one-way street contravening no entry signs and ultimately ended up in a collision with a wall and traffic light,” said Mr Jones.

The car came to a rest, at the junction of Bradshaw Brown and Turton Road, on its roof.

Recorder Hilton was shown CCTV footage of the pursuit, which includes the Golf speeding along Bradshawgate, and film from the officer’s body-worn camera of him pulling James-Authe, who was alone in the car, from the wreckage.

When questioned James-Authe, of Kirkstall Gardens, Radcliffe, admitted dangerous driving, telling police that he had been in Bolton town centre, with his partner, from around 11pm that night and had drunk Fosters lager and Jack Daniels.

“He said he went to get into the car and drove towards the town centre when he saw the blue lights and panicked,” said Mr Jones.

“He can’t remember the collision because he says, at that stage, he was knocked out.

“He was remorseful and thanked the police from removing him from the vehicle so quickly.”

The court heard that James-Authe has a previous conviction, dating back to 2009, when he took a vehicle without consent.

Richard Dawson said that James-Authe works and the probation service have produced a positive report about him which concludes that he is unlikely to reoffend.

Recorder Hilton sentenced him to a 12-month community order during which he must undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and eight days of rehabilitation activities.

He told the defendant: “The video footage that has been played to the court emphasises more the humiliation of you and the disruption that you caused to other people.

“There are plenty of other things that police officers can be doing on a Saturday night, Sunday morning, in Bolton town centre than chasing you.”

James-Authe was also ordered to pay £425 towards prosecution costs and was banned from driving for 12 months after which he will have to take an extended driving test.

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