Two years’ jail for drunk driver who raced through streets of Sheffield at 70mph

A prolific criminal who embarked on a 70mph police chase through the streets of Sheffield while drunk has been put behind bars.

By Sarah Marshall
Thursday, 04 April, 2019, 18:03

Police executed a warrant at defendant, Gareth Pitts’ home in Beaumont Avenue, Manor on October 20, 2017, Sheffield Crown Court heard. 

Officers recovered cannabis from the pocket of a body warmer at the property, on the work surfaces in his kitchen and in his garden shed. 

Pitts was jailed during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court

Bev Tait, prosecuting, said: “A total of 366.05 grams were found, with a street value of between £2,240 and £3,360.”

Two incapacitant or ‘pepper’ sprays were also found at Pitts’ property. 

Pepper spray is classified as a prohibited weapon under the Firearms Act 1968, however police officers are exempt from the requirements of the act if appropriately trained and authorised as part of their duties for their police service.

 

 

In police interview, Pitts, 31, said all of the items seized by police from his property belonged to him through a prepared statement. 

He claimed the cannabis was for his personal use, which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Piits committed another set of offences six months later on April 13 last year, when he was involved in a police chase through the Halfway area of the city after failing to stop for police officers as requested. 

“He was travelling at 70 miles per hours (mph) in a 30mph zone on Halfway Drive,” said Ms Tait, adding that Pitts stopped his vehicle a short time later and attempted to flee the scene through some nearby fields. 

He was chased on foot by police officers, and was arrested at the scene. 

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Pitts, who was banned from driving when he committed the offences, was found have almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. 

He pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of cannabis, dangerous driving, driving whilst over the prescribed limit and driving without insurance. 

Pitts, who has an extensive criminal record of 62 offences, has previously been convicted of dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and possession with intent to supply cannabis. 

Annette Thomas, defending, asked Judge Peter Kelson to take the age of the offences into consideration, the oldest of which were committed 18 months ago, and the fact he has not committed any further crimes in the intervening period. 

Judge Kelson jailed Pitts, of Beaumont Avenue, Manor for 22 months and banned him from driving for four years and two months. 

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to supply a custody image of Pitts