Car crashes into house near sleeping lady after 110mph police chase

The 110mph police chase, which covered around 20 miles, ended with Jack Watson smashing into a garden wall, parked car and house – narrowly missing an elderly lady sleeping.

The 35-year-old defendant was seriously injured in the crash, having ‘floored it’ to evade capture and travelling at more than three times the speed limit on 30mph roads.

He has now been brought to justice at Chester Crown Court, appearing via video link from HMP Lewes, having been remanded in custody after failing to attend court on a previous occasion.

Watson was sentenced on charges of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, explained to the court that shortly after midnight, in the early hours of March 25, 2022, a Cheshire Police officer was on traffic patrol in Winwick.

He received a report of a potential drink or drug driver on the M6 northbound in a Seat Alteca, which was located near junction 22 for Winwick and Newton-le-Willows.

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The stretch is under 50mph roadwork speed limit restrictions, with no hard shoulder and traffic being reported as light, but the Seat’s speed was sometimes reaching over 80mph.

The car was also being driven ‘erratically’, straddling lanes and swerving, and as officers in two cars tried to stop the car, Watson slowed before swerving into the path of one of the cars, with evasive action required to avoid a crash.

Watson then ‘floored’ the accelerator and sped off, with officers giving chase with blue lights and sirens activated.

Footage was played in court showing the shocking pursuit, which continued on residential A and B roads after he left the M6 at junction 27, through Standish, Shevington, Orrell and ending in Billinge.

During this period, as shown in police dashcam footage played in court, Watson drove on the wrong side of the road, took blind bends and a single-lane humpback bridge at speed and crossed mini-roundabouts with ‘no sign of slowing or stopping’.

He also went through two sets of red traffic lights – one of which was for temporary roadworks, with the road down to one lane and into the path of vehicles with the right of way had there been traffic coming, which thankfully there was not due to the time of day.

The defendant continued at ‘extraordinary and startling’ high speeds of more than 110mph for several miles, sometimes on 30mph roads, with officers ‘struggling to keep pace’.

Watson was sentenced at Chester Crown Court

Watson was sentenced at Chester Crown Court

The pursuit ended when Watson came to a T-junction at the end of Upholland Road, where Main Street meets Wigan Road in Billinge, and failed to make the turn, colliding with a garden wall, car parked on the driveway and eventually a house.

The car hit the house just metres away from a bedroom window in which an elderly lady suffering with dementia was sleeping at the time.

Officers found the Seat ‘severely damaged’, and Watson ‘severely injured’.

He was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery for a perforated bowel, spending time in intensive care, three weeks in hospital and several months bedbound afterwards.

He also had to return to hospital due to surgery complications, with the court hearing how he thanked police officers for ‘saving his life’.

A test was conducted in hospital ‘some time after the driving’ and as a result he was ‘under the legal limit’.

Checks by police revealed the Seat was a hire car rented from the Brighton area to a woman known by the defendant, but with Watson paying the fee under a different name.

He was disqualified from driving at the time of the offences, meaning he was also uninsured.

The court heard that Watson was on his way from Brighton to Blackpool to visit a friend, so had already travelled ‘some distance’, but evaded police to avoid being caught and sent to custody.

During his police interview, it was said that he was ‘shaking his head in shock and remorse’ when he saw the manner of his driving.

An impact statement by the owner of the house into which Watson crashed was read in court, and this stated: “The whole incident has caused nothing but anger and paranoia.”

He said that his mother-in-law, the elderly lady sleeping near the crash, was ‘quite disturbed’ by the incident and was unable to sleep afterwards.

The court heard a similar incident occurred again three months later, with another car crashing into the property.

The total damage caused by Watson was in excess of £65,000 – including writing off the Seat worth around £24,500 and the victim’s Nissan X-Trail car worth £16,000, as well as causing £24,000 in damage to the property.

The chase ended with a crash on Main Street in Billinge. Picture: Google Maps

The chase ended with a crash on Main Street in Billinge. Picture: Google Maps

“The whole incident is a nightmare. Me and my wife are terrified, and it has all been caused by the defendant’s behaviour,” the statement added.

Mr Hussey revealed to the court Watson’s ‘lengthy’ criminal record of 26 previous convictions for 60 offences – including three counts of robbery, five for driving while disqualified and seven for driving without insurance.

On behalf of his client, Matthew Kerruish-Jones, defending, said: “There is no doubt this was a very bad piece of driving, aggravated by a number of factors.

“The custody threshold has clearly been passed. The issue is if the court can consider any proposal other than immediate custody.

“The defendant clearly made a series of poor decisions – a cascade of poor decision making on that day leading up to the accident. The footage speaks for itself.”

It was highlighted that Watson has since become a father and is now showing ‘some long overdue signs of maturity’.

He wished to ‘publicly apologise to the complainant and police for his actions’ and is ‘genuinely remorseful through his guilty pleas’, it was said.

Before sentencing, judge Michael Leeming said: “Your driving was erratic. In the words of your barrister, you literally floored it, accelerating away at high speed, causing a pursuit from Winwick to Billinge over 20 miles.

“You drove at extremely high speed, on the wrong side of the road on roundabouts and through two red lights.

“You drove at high speed on 30mph roads through residential areas. Fortunately, no pedestrians were about.

“This was a long and persistent and deliberate course of driving and evading police. Your dangerous driving caused damage to vehicles and property, and you have a bad record.

“In my judgement, in the circumstances of the case, appropriate punishment can only be achieved by way of immediate custody.”

Watson, of Hartfield Avenue in Brighton, was sentenced to 18 months immediate imprisonment.

He was also disqualified from driving for 30 months, and he must pass an extended retest before getting behind the wheel again.


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