Cocaine-fuelled driver who reached 80mph in 30 zone in West Sussex jailed

Video of the police pursuit shows Paul Rudkin driving dangerously before crashing - Credit: Sussex Police

A driver who was high on cocaine whilst he sped at 80mph in a 30 zone in West Sussex has been jailed.

Paul Rudkin, 42, failed to stop for police in Keymer Road, Burgess Hill, and attempted dangerous overtaking of other vehicles.

Rudkin was driving a blue Mini Cooper when he hit a puddle and lost control. He was then arrested by police.

It was found that he was once again more than ten times the legal limit for cocaine in his system.

At Crawley Magistrates' Court on April 10 he admitted two counts of drug driving, following an earlier hearing at Lewes Crown Court on January 8 where Rudkin was sentenced to ten months in prison.

Following the first sentencing in January, Rudkin admitted failing to stop, driving without insurance, and dangerous driving, and has been disqualified from driving for three years and four months.

Then on April 10 he admitted two charges relating to drug driving. He was given a further three year disqualification and ordered to pay a £32 surcharge and £80 fine.

Paul Rudkin, 42, failed to stop for police and attempted dangerous overtaking of other vehicles. Credit: Sussex Police

The court was told how the incident happened at 11.20am on December 10 last year, during Sussex Police's annual campaign to tackle drink and drug drivers during the festive period.

Footage showed Rudkin, formerly a landscape gardener of Bentswood Road, Haywards Heath, drive away from officers.

He narrowly avoided head-on collisions and completed high risk overtaking on blind bends.

The pursuit finished after he lost control and crashed into a hedge.

His blood test showed he had 110 micrograms (uhg) of cocaine per litre of blood. The legal limit is 10uhg of cocaine per litre of blood.

He also tested positive for more than 800uhg of a cocaine breakdown chemical called Benzoylecgonine, the legal limit for this chemical is 50uhg per litre of blood.

At an earlier hearing at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on December 11 last year he admitted drug driving relating to a separate offence on July 12 last year.

Rudkin was found slumped over the wheel of his vehicle in Jobs Lane, Hickstead. He gave a positive DrugWipe test for cocaine.

On that occasion a sample of his blood showed he had 109 microgrammes (ug) of cocaine per litre of blood in his system. The legal limit is 10ug of cocaine per litre of blood.

Investigating officer PC Max Setra from the Roads Policing Unit said: "Rudkin’s driving put himself, his passengers and other road users at risk.

"He was highly fortunate not to cause a head-on collision as he reached high speeds in Burgess Hill.

"We are pleased with the outcome of the case. It demonstrates our determination to catch offenders and take dangerous drivers off our roads."

Officers across Sussex Police are currently conducting road safety patrols as part of the force's "fatal five" campaign this April.

Drink and drug driving is one of the main causes in people being killed or seriously injured on our roads.

The other factors are driving at excess speed, not wearing a seat belt, being distracted while driving such as by using a mobile phone, and careless or anti-social driving.

Driving at excess speed accounts for one in three collisions in Sussex and is one of the main factors in why people are killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…