Drunk driver’s 90mph midnight chase in his mother’s car ended by police helicopter

South Yorkshire Police helicopter in action
South Yorkshire Police helicopter in action
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A drunk driver twice the legal limit led police on a midnight chase as he tore through a Doncaster town at 90mph.

Simon Hellewell, who was already disqualified from driving because of a previous drinking offence, had taken his mother’s car without consent from the home they shared on Willow Drive, Mexborough, on April 18 to go and buy cigarettes.

He was spotted by officers going through a red light and when followed he started driving at speeds between 60mph and 90mph on roads with 20mph and 30mph limits.

He had several near-misses with other moving and stationary vehicles and at one stage turned his headlights off while speeding in a bid to evade police.

Hellewell, who had an unknown passenger in the vehicle, was only caught after a police helicopter was called out and was able to track his movements in the Vauxhall Meriva car.

When arrested, it was discovered he was more than twice the drink drive limit.

The 33-year-old, who was previously worked as a forklift truck driver, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to six months in jail and given a further driving disqualification of three years.

He had previously admitted charges of dangerous driving, taking a vehicle without consent, driving above the alcohol limit and using a vehicle without insurance.

David Wain, prosecuting, said the vehicle was seen going through a temporary traffic light by officers but failed to stop for them.

As Hellewell drove along Doncaster Road towards Mexborough police station he started going at around 60mph in a 30mph zone, narrowly missing another car that was turning.

He did not slow down as he went through a roundabout and reached 90mph as he got close to Montagu Hospital.

As Hellewell took a sharp left turn, he nearly lost control of the speeding car and almost hit a parked car on Maple Road.

As the chase continued, Hellewell turned his headlights off in an attempt to evade capture.

A police car tried to block his path at one stage but Hellewell drove on to the pavement to get past, narrowly missing the other vehicle.

Mr Wain said: “The car managed to get out of sight. Unfortunately for the defendant, the police helicopter had been called out and was able to observe the car being parked up and the defendant and passenger leaving the vehicle. The defendant was arrested and had the car keys with him.”

He said Hellewell had previously been disqualified for three years in 2009 after being caught drink driving and had not resat his test, meaning the disqualification was still in place at the time of the offence.

Judge Robert Moore said only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified by Hellewell’s actions.