Pensioner, 82, led police on high-speed chase

Brian Seals leaving York Crown Court
Brian Seals leaving York Crown Court

An 82-year-old drink-driving pensioner bombed through country villages at speeds of up to 80mph with police in pursuit.

Startled motorists had to take evasive action as Brian Seals put his foot down in a 40mph zone and overtook a number of vehicles with sudden, jerky movements of his silver Toyota Aygo.

Seals sped through West Ayton at double the speed limit

Seals sped through West Ayton at double the speed limit

Burning rubber like a boy racer, the Scarborough pensioner shot past the line of steady-moving traffic in Brompton – among which was a marked police car driven by a traffic sergeant.

The officer gave chase but despite the flashing blue lights and wailing siren, Seals stepped on the gas as he weaved in and out of traffic at break-neck speeds, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Graham O’Sullivan said Seals tore through the neighbouring village of Wykeham with the speed dial teetering on 70mph.

“He continued to make overtaking manoeuvres, swerving at the last minute into the opposite side of the road, at speed, in the presence of oncoming traffic,” added the barrister.

Footage of the terrifying incident, captured on the sergeant’s dashboard camera, showed the Toyota overtaking on bends, streaking through two lines of traffic in the narrowest of margins and swerving violently to avoid hitting oncoming vehicles when an accident seemed all but inevitable.

Seals shot through the next village, West Ayton, at 80mph - double the local speed limit. He then bombed through the 30mph part of the village at 70mph.

He finally hit the brakes on the approach to the bridge at West Ayton, where he got stuck behind slow-moving traffic and pulled up in a layby.

When the officer asked Seals why he had driven in such a manner, the pensioner replied: “I think I’m having a bit of a freak in my head.”

Mr O’Sullivan said it was clear that Seals had been drinking and the officer asked him to undergo a roadside breath test, which revealed an alcohol reading of 45mcg in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

As police were speaking to Seals at the roadside, other motorists pulled up to vent their fury at the pensioner’s kamikaze driving, which miraculously resulted in no collisions or injuries.

Seals, of West Street, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and drink-driving. He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Thursday last week wearing a smart grey jacket and tie.

The court heard that the octogenarian had led a blameless life until the five-mile car chase, which began at about 4.15pm on July 21.

His solicitor advocate David Camidge said Seals acknowledged the consequences of his driving “could have been a lot worse”, adding: “He won’t be driving again.”

Judge Neil Davey QC said Seals had shown a brazen disregard for the safety of other road users and had put their lives “at considerable risk”.

However, the judge said Seals’s lack of previous convictions, his early guilty pleas and his age had spared him an immediate jail sentence.

Instead, Seals was given a six-month suspended jail term and two-year driving ban. The pensioner walked free from court with the aid of a walking stick.