Drink-driver injured child in Scarborough then fled police in high-speed chase – before his car set on fire

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A drink-driver injured a three-year-old child in Scarborough after crashing into another car,before speeding from cops at 80mph through residential streets – only stopping when his carburst into flames.

Philip Fisher, 49, had drunk 11 pints and was reportedly having an “out-of-body experience” as he sped from police in a VW Golf which was heavily damaged and had a punctured tyre, following a collision with a Vauxhall Mokka at the junction of Northway and Victoria Road, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Kelly Clarke said that Fisher, who was more than twice the drink-drive limit, sped towards oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road during the 25-minute police chase.

The drama began at about 8.45pm on March 30 when officers in a marked police van requested him to stop after being tipped off that he may be drink-driving.

York Crown Court exterior. Picture by Steve BambridgeYork Crown Court exterior. Picture by Steve Bambridge
York Crown Court exterior. Picture by Steve Bambridge

Fisher – who worked as a professional driver at the time – initially pulled over but then sped away towards the Northway traffic-light junction where a man in a Vauxhall Mokka was crossing the intersection.

As he did so, Fisher’s Golf crashed into the rear passenger side of his vehicle where his young son was sitting.

This caused the victim’s vehicle to “spin violently” during which his son suffered bruising from friction with the seat belt.

“(The victim) noticed a Volkswagen Golf outside the gym in Northway which stopped briefly before driving off again,” added Ms Clarke.

A traffic officer gave chase along Seamer Road and the pursuit continued for another 25 minutes through residential streets as Fisher drove “well in excess of the speed limit”, at some points up to 80mph.

“The vehicle drove into oncoming traffic and on the wrong side of the road on numerous occasions, all while the vehicle was heavily damaged from the earlier collision,” said Ms Clarke.

“Only three tyres were inflated.”

She said the vehicle “only came to a stop when incapacitated” and after setting on fire.

Fisher – who had driven into Scarborough with a male passenger before the incident – was arrested and taken into custody where a drink-drive test showed he was well over the legal alcohol limit.

“He told police he had an out-of-body experience,” said Ms Clarke.

“He said he didn’t usually drink and that this was the reason for his actions.”

Fisher, of Mill Rise, Huddersfield, said he had “no recollection whatsoever of the collision with (the victim’s vehicle)”.

He was charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and drink-driving.

He admitted all charges and appeared for sentence on May 10.

In a statement read out in court, the victim – whom we have chosen not to name to protect the identity of his son – said he had suffered financially due to the incident as his car had been written off.

Defence barrister Nick Peacock said Fisher had “issues” in his life at the time and was concerned about losing his job.

He said that Fisher had fled from police in a “degree of panic” but conceded that it was a “disgraceful piece of driving”.

Mr Recorder R Ward said that Fisher’s offences were so serious that they crossed the custody threshold, but that he could suspend the jail sentence because his behaviour was “out of character”, he had shown remorse and was capable of rehabilitation.

He told Fisher: “Your judgement on that day was partly to blame on personal problems…but drinking 11 pints is probably not the best way to deal with matters.”

Fisher was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence with 240 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation-activity days.

He was ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and banned from driving for two years.


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