A heroin-fuelled driver who was previously convicted for a drug-related manslaughter put motorists’ lives in danger as he caused chaos on a dual carriageway.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday how Nathan Christy Bacon, of Chesterfield, was spotted on the northbound A38 near Alfreton repeatedly swerving across both lanes and twice going up a banking while hurtling down the carriageway with debris flying before a tyre ripped off.
District Judge Morris Cooper told Bacon: “It’s a matter of good fortune and the vigilance of other motorists that there was not a dreadful pile-up that could have caused serious injuries and death.”
Bacon, 38, of Spring House Close, Ashgate, was travelling from Derby to Chesterfield, according to the probation service, after buying and smoking heroin from a dealer which caused him to blackout.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “Bacon was observed by an off-duty officer who saw a silver car behind overtaking another car and swerving across the lanes.
“The silver car came up at speed alongside him and began to move lanes again nearly colliding and then it went up banking and came back over both lanes. It went back into the carriageway showering the off-duty officer’s vehicle with debris.
“He observed that the vehicle travelled on to the grass banking again and back over both lanes at the A61 turn-off.”
Mrs Allsop explained the defendant’s front, offside tyre rolled away creating a shower of sparks as he continued to drive to a roundabout and stopped near Gooker Lane.
Bacon who was extremely drowsy, according to police, was taking out a spare wheel before a uniformed officer took him to Chesterfield station.
The defendant told police he had taken heroin and wraps of the class A drug valued at £25 were found in his possession.
Probation officer Katie Shannon said: “He had received a phone call from a heroin dealer. He was abstaining but drove to Derby to meet him but drove back several times to try and get the better of his temptation.
“But he picked up the heroin and tried a small amount through smoking and returned to his vehicle and clipped the kerb while driving and experiencing a blackout.”
Ms Shannon told how Bacon has a long-standing history of heroin abuse with previous offending linked to illicit substances and he has had mental health difficulties.
Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Bacon has four previous convictions - including the most serious offence in 2000 of manslaughter - which involved giving drugs to a friend.
Mr Brint added: “He is determined to get off drugs and has sought help for his addiction. He has been taking a drug substitute and in the last few months he has not produced a positive test.”
Bacon pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled class A drug and guilty to driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs after the incident on April 27.
District Judge Cooper sentenced Bacon to 120 days’ custody suspended for one year and ordered him to undergo nine months’ supervision and a six-month drug rehabilitation programme.
He told the defendant he had spared him from jail because he felt support to overcome drugs was the best way to protect the public.
Bacon was also ordered to pay £165 in costs and a victim surcharge and was disqualified from driving for 36 months.