Drunken driver hit five cars in chase

PUBLISHED: 11:32 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 06 May 2010

A DRUNKEN driver who crashed into five parked cars during a police chase could remember nothing about it, a court heard. Pierre Bouwer, a 25-year-old from South Africa, had an unexplained moment of madness , said his barrister, and was relieved that no o

A DRUNKEN driver who crashed into five parked cars during a police chase could remember nothing about it, a court heard.

Pierre Bouwer, a 25-year-old from South Africa, had an "unexplained moment of madness", said his barrister, and was relieved that no one had been injured.

Bouwer, of Nutleigh Grove, Hitchin, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and without a licence. He was ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work and pay £360 costs. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Natalie Carter, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court on Friday, said the chase was in the early hours of April 15 when police tried to get him to stop his Corsa in Hitchin Road, Luton, but he sped away.

Bouwer drove at up to 60mph in built-up areas, mounted pavements, drove on the wrong side of road and collided with five parked cars including two Astras, a Clio, a Peugeot 205 and a Mondeo.

At one stage he almost flipped over, but managed to keep going. Then he hit a fence, rebounded off and struck the police car.

A breath test taken an hour and a half later gave a reading of 77 - more than twice the legal limit. His female passenger appeared very scared to police.

Next day Bouwer told police he had no memory of his driving.

Stephen Akinsanya, defending, said: "Shock, shame and regret are the three emotions he feels.

"He recalls going out that night but had no intention to drink heavily as he had an important meeting early the next morning. He remembers his first drink and nothing after that. At first he put it down to his drink being spiked, but he had somehow spent £90.

"Fortunately traffic was virtually non-existent and he is extremely relieved that no one was injured."

He said Bouwer had a psychology degree and was in the process of setting up an image consultancy company.

"He is absolutely petrified of going to prison," added Mr Akinsanya.

Recorder Alexander Verdan told Bouwer: "This is a borderline case, you could have easily gone to prison for your madness.

"Your driving was dangerous, reckless and without any thought for anyone else. You are very lucky you did not seriously injure someone.

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