Scarborough drink-driver who shot through red lights and just missed hitting other cars is spared jail

Columbus Ravine
Columbus Ravine

A drink-driver who sped from police through the streets of Scarborough has been spared jail.

Barry Grieveson, 31, was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he shot through red lights and drove in such a reckless manner that at one stage police had to abandon the chase for the safety of the public, York Crown Court heard.

Police finally caught up with Grieveson in Queens Parade where he got out of his Peugeot and tried to make a run for it. An officer arrested him after a short chase.

Grieveson, of Hoxton Road, Scarborough, failed a roadside breath test and a second reading in custody revealed 73mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

He was charged with dangerous driving and drink-driving and ultimately admitted both charges. He appeared for sentence on Monday.

Prosecutor Adam Walker said Grieveson’s Peugeot nearly hit other vehicles as it careered through Scarborough in the early hours of July 12.

The chase began on Victoria Road at 2.45am, when an officer in a patrol car spotted Grieveson driving through red lights in the opposite direction.

The officer followed the Peugeot along Trafalgar Street, Dean Road and Columbus Ravine, where Grieveson turned back on himself and swerved from one side of the road to the other, narrowly avoiding other vehicles.

The Peugeot then bombed down Hoxton Road and Victoria Road, before shooting through red lights at the junction of Castle Road and Dean Road.

It was at this stage that the pursuing officer decided to turn his flashing lights off, though he still followed the vehicle and caught up with the Peugeot in Queens Parade, where Grieveson got out and made a run for it.

Following his arrest, Grieveson told officers he “panicked” after seeing the flashing lights, although he denied driving dangerously at the time.

The court heard that Grieveson had drunk three or four cans of lager at a friend’s before getting behind the wheel.

He had 22 previous convictions for 70 offences including aggravated vehicle-taking, criminal damage, public disorder and breaching court orders.

His defence counsel’s mitigation was cut short when judge Simon Hickey said he did not intend to impose an immediate prison sentence because Grieveson had not been in trouble for six years until the driving incident.

Mr Hickey said there had been a “massive change” in Grieveson’s life and he was now a father-of-two.

The judge told Grieveson: “I’m prepared to give you a chance and take an exceptional course in your case, but the message must go out that people who drive dangerously (usually) go to prison. Breach my order and I will lock you up – no hesitation.”

The nine-month prison term was suspended for a year and Grieveson was also given a 12-month driving ban, along with 80 hours’ unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation-activity days.