Drug-addicted couple played Russian roulette with other peoples’ lives in A1 police chase

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A drug-addicted couple who led police on a dangerous chase along the A1 in a stolen car “chose to play Russian roulette with the lives of other people,” a court has heard.

Graham Baguley stole a friend’s red Peugeot from Sandy Lane, Worksop, after asking for the keys so he could fetch his phone. on September 30, 2021, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

His then wife, Rachel Lowe, was at the wheel when police spotted the Peugeot the next day and began following it on the A1 to Retford, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

The number plate had been altered with a pen so that the P looked like a B,

Nottingham Crown Court.Nottingham Crown Court.
Nottingham Crown Court.

Lowe began swerving across the lanes and through tight spaces between other vehicles, at one point forcing a lorry towards the grass verge. The pursuing officer backed off to avoid a crash and Lowe changed lanes at the last minute to leave the motorway before they were finally arrested.

The court heard they both gave no-comment interviews, have previous convictions, and were last in trouble in 2017.

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Digby Johnson, mitigating, said Baguley has spent two months in custody and hasn’t offended since 2021.

Stefan Fox said Lowe has been in custody for 55 days and “is petrified of going back.”

“It is not the most attractive episode but there are worse episodes,” he said.

He said the UK has a prison population of 87,915 and an operational capacity of 88,987, which means there are only 1,072 prison spaces left.

Baguley, 53, of White House Road, Bircotes, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and Lowe, 43, of Blythe Court, Mansfield, admitted dangerous driving, before their trial yesterday.

On Tuesday, Judge Michael Auty KC told them: “It is a miracle and a mercy that no one was hurt or killed including the two of you.

“I am a realist and I recognise what drugs do to your judgement. You are off them now. If there is any hope for you two it relies in you staying off them.”

He sentenced them to 12 months, suspended for two years, with a nine-month drug rehabilitation order and 25 rehabilitation days each.

He imposed a three-month curfew on Baguley and ordered Lowe to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. They were banned from driving for two years.


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Decade-long sentence for drug-driver who killed man in head on crash in Bircotes

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A drug-driver who killed another motorist in a head on collision in Bircotes has been jailed.

Alan Harwood was behind the wheel of a van when it crashed into a vehicle heading the other way.

He chose to overtake a lorry around 30 seconds earlier while approaching an uphill bend in Bawtry Road, Bircotes.

Harwood, who was under the influence of cocaine at the time, continued to speed up behind another vehicle ahead of him.

Alan Harwood has been jailed for ten yearsAlan Harwood has been jailed for ten years
Alan Harwood has been jailed for ten years

He then left his lane to prepare to overtake again, but instead collided head on with Lucian Abbey, around 9.45am on March 9, 2023.

The 51-year-old father of three, who was travelling in the other direction in his van, was pronounced deceased at the roadside shortly afterwards.

Blood tests later showed that Harwood, who himself sustained multiple fractures in the crash, had traces of cocaine in his system at the time.

Harwood, of no fixed address, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and drug-driving.

Lucian Abbey died at the scene of the crashLucian Abbey died at the scene of the crash
Lucian Abbey died at the scene of the crash

After pleading guilty to the charges, the 49-year-old appeared before Nottingham Crown Court to be sentenced on Monday, May 20.

Ahead of the sentencing, a statement written by Rachel Cleary, Lucian’s partner, was read out to the court.

She said: “Lucian was a funny, kind, sweet, sometimes obtrusive but lovely man, who had a knack of making you feel special. He was truly a unique soul.

“My heart breaks daily at the thought his children will never get another birthday or Christmas with him, and he will never get to do all the firsts a dad should do.”

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Graham Pace, Lucian’s cousin, added: “The impact of one man’s selfish, reckless and dangerous actions within minutes have killed my cousin and ruined the lives of my family and Lucian’s friends and partner.

“We cannot comprehend why or how he could feel it necessary to drive under the influence of drugs and do what he did. This action has caused the death of my cousin and to us is unforgivable.”

Sentencing Harwood to ten years in prison, Judge Michael Auty KC, said: “If it was in my gift to restore his life, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I can’t.

“Nothing I can do will heal the misery and suffering of the family who mourn the passing of their loved one.

“It must have been obvious to you that you were completing a dangerous manoeuvre. The real tragedy of this case is that it was completely unnecessary.

“You cost three innocent children their father. You took one life but irreparably damaged more, due to your selfishness and irresponsibility.”

Following his prison sentence, Harwood will be banned from driving for a further five years and will then have to complete a retest.

Detective Constable Liah Lane, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Harwood’s actions on the road that morning were careless in the extreme and ultimately cost another man his life.

“By not only deciding to get behind the wheel while having drugs in his system, but also to complete what was a dangerous manoeuvre in poor weather conditions, he put others at serious risk.

“Tragically, this proved to be the case, as after committing to a reckless overtake, he collided head on with Mr Abbey’s vehicle.”


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