A DRIVER has been jailed for 14 months for crashing into an ambulance on a 999 call while he was being chased by police through Christchurch.
Adam Vaughan (32) was under a driving ban and had excess levels of cannabis and cocaine in his system at the time, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.
Judge Robert Pawson sent Vaughan down despite the defendant pleading from the dock for that not to happen.
“I’ve f***ed my life up again,” Vaughan lamented before telling the judge he had been in prison for most of the last decade and incarceration “does not work for me”.
“Sadly, it seems probation does not work either,” the judge retorted.
Prosecutor Christopher Stopa said police were in an unmarked car travelling on Barrack Road at around 2.30pm on 20th February this year when they pulled up behind Vaughan at the wheel of a blue Volkswagen Golf.
They ran checks on the vehicle, found he had no insurance and turned on their blue lights. Vaughan first indicated he would pull over – but then accelerated away as he got past the Shell garage.
He turned right along Clarendon Road, overtaking a car as he sped along the narrow residential road with cars parked on either side and past Christchurch junior and infant schools at up to 60mph.
When Vaughan made a left turn onto Fairmile Road his vehicle struck an ambulance, which “bounced” off it and clattered into another car and caused it damage, Mr Stopa said.
The prosecutor pointed out Vaughan had a number of previous convictions: 35 for 88 offences, many of which included driving. Vaughan was ordered previously to undertake an extended driving retest which he had not yet completed, Mr Stopa said.
The defendant, of Nursery Close, Hordle, appeared before the court having pleaded guilty to six charges: dangerous driving, having no insurance or a licence, failing to stop when required and two counts of getting behind the wheel with excess levels of a drug in his system.
Victoria Hill, defending, said her client was remorseful about what happened and keen to make amends. He had been candid with probation, calling himself an “idiot” for the offending.
She admitted her client was no stranger to prison having last got out of jail in November 2018. Between then and now was the longest period he had spent at liberty in around 10 years, she added.
“Putting it bluntly, prison is something he can clearly do,” she said. “It’s more of a home to him than anywhere else.”
Because Vaughan had also self-referred to tackle his drug addiction, she argued it would better serve the public if the sentence were deferred.
That way Vaughan could be given a month to show he was committed to helping himself and getting clean. She added he had the motivation of a new partner, reconnecting with his 12-year-old son and his life was far more “settled” than ever before.
But Judge Pawson said that was not enough to save Vaughan from going down, noting the defendant had missed appointments since his self-referral.
Calling Vaughan’s criminal record “pretty appalling”, Judge Pawson continued: “It was a deliberate decision on your part to show complete disregard to the enormous danger you were causing everyone else.
“You struck an ambulance responding to a 999 call. That ambulance did not reach its destination – I don’t know where it was going.
“But you stopped someone who needed help from getting that. It’s about as serious as it can be for a short course of dangerous driving.”
Vaughan yelled out abuse as he was led away to the cells.