Connah's Quay crash drink driver left passenger unconscious


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A DRINK-DRIVER crashed a car at high speed and ran off, leaving his passenger unconscious.

A police tracker dog was called in and followed John Philip Machell’s scent across fields.

Police found him running and out of breath and arrested him.

He was found to be more than twice the drink drive limit.

To make matter worse Machell, of Ivy Court, Connah’s Quay, then got aggressive when he was taken to a cell in the police station and ended up biting a police sergeant on the leg.

But the 25-year-old, who claimed  he could remember it because of the alcohol he had taken, escaped imprisonment when he appeared at Flintshire Magistrates Court.

He was placed on a 12-month community order and sent on a drink-driver’s course run by the probation service.

District Judge Gwyn Jones banned him from driving for 28 months and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the police officer and £185 prosecution costs.

Machell admitted drink-driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to stop for a police officer, careless driving, assaulting a police officer and possessing cannabis.

It was in the early hours of April 20 that police attention was first drawn to a Peugeot 106 when they saw it turn into the Civic Centre of Wepre Road in Connah’s Quay.

A passenger door flew open and a man was seen to stumble into the road, prosecutor Matthew Ellis said.

Police turned around, stopped the vehicle by parking in front of it, and two officers got out.

But Machell, who was behind the wheel, pulled out and sped off despite a clear ‘Stop’ sign by one of the officers.

The police followed with blue lights flashing but Machell pulled away and crashed into a parked car.

Both vehicles were badly damaged and Machell staggered away leaving his passenger unconscious in the vehicle.

Mr Ellis said there was concern for the welfare of that passenger and the fire service had to cut him out of the wreckage.

Police dog Riley was drafted in and followed the Machell’s scent over some fields and police officers in Fron Road saw him running, out of breath.

He was arrested and blew an alcohol reading of 95 microgrammes at Wexham Police Station, compared to the legal limit of 35.

Machell was found to have cannabis on him and he bit a police sergeant on the leg during a struggle.

Interviewed, he told how he drank seven or eight pints followed by some shots at The Hare and Hounds in Connah’s Quay.

He said he had been headbutted in the pub and left, but said he did not recall getting into the vehicle but accepted that he did.

The reason for his lack of memory was the alcohol, he said.

Gary Harvey, defending, said the impact of the crash had been about 50 mph or 60 mph.

Machell had been shown a video of the crash and that had brought it home to him how lucky he and his passenger had been.

“He realises how foolish he has been,” Mr Harvey said.

Machell had no recollection and could not remember leaving the scene but the CCTV showed him staggering off, not knowing where he was going.

“It could have been worse, he recognises that,” Mr Harvey added.

See full story in the Leader

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