Dad-of-11 jailed after 133mph police chase in 50 zone after night out with pal

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A dad-of-11 who led police on a 133mph chase in his Porsche in a 50mph zone after a night out has been jailed.

Nathan Gardner, 43, refused to take a breath and drug test when police finally caught up with him.

He was spotted by officers swerving across the road in Littlehampton, West Sussex, and led police on a 25-minute pursuit, speeding through red lights.

Police used a stop stick to puncture the tyres of the vehicle – but Gardner carried on driving on the rim of the wheel, only slowing down when he saw a pedestrian in the road.

Gardner is the sole carer for the 11 children he had with wife Mandy Gardner, who took her own life in April last year.

The mother-of-13 had appeared alongside Gardner on TV show Extraordinary Pregnancies on the TLC channel in 2016.

At the time of recording, the couple had 11 children and were looking forward to welcoming their 12th baby into the family. She gave birth to her 13th child two years ago.

Her widowed husband’s night out watching boxing with a pal on August 23 last year was a brief respite from looking after their children and the grief of his loss, Hove Crown Court heard.

His defence team argued he should only be given a suspended sentence due to his childcare responsibilities, but a judge jailed him for 10 months.

Gardner, from Worthing, West Sussex, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for the police and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis at Brighton Magistrates Court in November.

But at his sentencing hearing on Tuesday said he “panicked” when he saw the blue lights of the police cars.

Judge Stephen Mooney said that despite Gardner now having to look after his 11 children, his driving was so poor that “any objective person would comment that that person should lose their liberty”.

Sophie Evans, prosecuting, said Gardner pulled out of the Shell garage in Littlehampton in the early hours of August 23 last year.

She added he was taken out of the car when finally arrested and put on the ground by officers, then refused to take a roadside breath test or drug swipe test.

Greg Johnson, defending, asked for a suspended sentence and said his client “regrets” his actions.

He said Gardner is the sole carer for his 11 children after the trauma of his wife taking her own life earlier this year.

Mr Johnson added Gardner was able to do unpaid work and said his client did not give a breath test because he was angry at the police for injuring him during his arrest.

The court heard Gardner has 15 previous convictions for 35 offences, including careless driving, failing to provide a breath test and driving while banned.

Sentencing him, Judge Mooney said the chase was “high risk” despite the time of the morning, and said Gardner had made himself a “hostage to fortune”.

He said Gardner had “compounded stupidity with stupidity” by driving off from the police dangerously.

The judge added that Gardner was probably “panicking” because he was over the drink-drive limit.

He said: “You were perfectly entitled to have a night to socialise, your caring responsibilities do not preclude you from having a life of your own.

“But what you did defies belief. After driving out of the garage you decided to embark on the most appalling piece of driving.

“It is impossible to understand why someone could do what you did. The only conclusion is that you had a fear of being stopped because you had been drinking.

“The manner you then tried to evade the police was stupidity compounded with stupidity.

“Your panic manifested itself as a massive, unnecessary risk to everyone who had been in the area. It is a mercy that nobody was hurt and no damage was caused.”

As well as being jailed, Gardner was given a new driving ban for three years once his prison term is served.