Man disqualified over dangerous drug-driving
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A 24-year-old man has been disqualified after admitting drug and dangerous driving in the Cannock area.
Michael Pitts, of St Matthews Close in Walsall, led officers on a chase around Norton Canes on 12 November last year.
The court heard how Pitts was seen in a white Citroen Dispatch van along the A5 on Watling Street, heading towards Church Bridge in Cannock at about 2.30pm on 12 November.
Officers discovered the van was not insured, so signalled for Pitts to pull over.
However, Pitts drove on at speed for about eight miles through Cannock, over-taking a number of vehicles in a reckless manner.
At the junction of Stagborough Way and East Cannock Road, officers spotted a mobile phone being thrown from the vehicle, which they later recovered.
This device proved to be a taser, disguised as a mobile phone.
On East Cannock Road, the van then mounted the central reservation at the Hilltop Island and continued along the opposite-side carriageway, travelling the wrong way around a mini-island and ignoring a keep-left sign.
The pursuit continued along Hill Street, the court heard, past a group of school children, with the van travelling the incorrect way at an island at the junction of Hayes Way.
The court heard how, at this point, Pitts was travelling at 70 miles-per-hour in a 30-miles-per-hour area.
The driver then continued along the A460, through a red traffic light, before Pitts decided to come to a stop.
Officers then detained Pitts, who tested positive for cannabis at the road side.
He was arrested and subsequently charged with dangerous driving, drug driving, possession of a Taser, driving without insurance and without a driving licence.
Pitts admitted the offences during an earlier court appearance and was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday (1 September).
He was handed a 15-month driving ban, told to conduct 80 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity for 30 days.
For the drug-driving offence, Pitts was handed a two-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months.
Possession of the Taser saw Pitts handed a six-month suspended sentence for the same period and the device was ordered to be destroyed.
The vehicle was also seized and Pitts was ordered to pay £150 in costs.
Speaking following the sentencing, PC Thomas Cordall, of Staffordshire Police’s Road Policing Unit, said: "Pitts is clearly a dangerous and reckless driver who put many people at risk on 12 November when he decided to lead officers on a pursuit through Cannock.
"I am thankful that we were able to apprehend Pitts when we did, particularly after he passed a number of school children.
"It is a relief that Pitts did not cause serious injury or worse to other road users and pedestrians that afternoon.
"I am glad that he will be off our roads for a significant period of time."
If you have been affected by driving offences in your area, contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101.
Call 999 in an emergency.