Idiot downed bottle of Champagne before 100mph police chase on snowy M62 motorway

A drunk driver reached 100mph on a snow-covered M62 motorway during a police chase after downing a bottle of Champagne.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 8:15 am
Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A judge told Shingirai Muchenje he had behaved like a "complete idiot" for putting lives in danger on the M621 in Leeds.

Muchenje, 23, was returning to the city from a night out in Manchester in the early hours of March 4 this year.

West Yorkshire was in the grip of sub-zero temperatures at the time of the incident as the Beast from the East caused snow chaos across the region.

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Leeds Crown Court heard Muchenje failed to stop when police officers saw him driving at excessive speeds near to the junction of the M62 and M621 at Birstall.

Muchenje, who had four passengers in his BMW, joined the M621 and reached 100mph despite the motorway being restricted to a 30mph limit.

Anthony Moore, prosecuting, said: "He overtook motorists and went into lanes covered with snow."

Muchenje left the motorway at Elland Road and drove across the city centre, ignoring red lights.

He reached 90mph as he went around Armley gyratory.

Officers managed to stop the vehicle on Claypit Lane.

Mr Moore said the car was full of empty alcohol containers.

Muchenje, of Neville Avenue, Osmondthorpe, Leeds, was unsteady on his feet when he got out of the BMW.

A breath test showed he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink driving, having no licence and no insurance.

Probation officer Michael Berry told the court Muchenje had described himself as a nine, on a scale of one to ten of drunkenness.

Muchenje said he had drunk a bottle of champagne before driving the car.

Mr Berry said: "He said he was a rare alcohol drinker and it had that effect on him. He described his behaviour as foolish."

Muchenje's barrister, Kate Bisset, said: "This defendant is perhaps an immature young man.

"It is entirely through good fortune that there was no collision, no damage and no injuries."

Muchenje was given a suspended prison sentence, banned from driving for three years and made the subject of a two-month curfew.

He must also do 100 hours of unpaid work and take part in 20 rehabilitation activity programme.

Recorder Tony Kelbrick said: "I remember that day and I remember what the weather was like.

"To drive that way on a snow-covered motorway is almost beyond belief, quite frankly."