Drug driver crashed into cottage after 100mph police chase

The scene of the crash at West Buckland after Christon Bayliss tried to flee from police. Picture: D

The scene of the crash at West Buckland after Christon Bayliss tried to flee from police. Picture: D&C Police - Credit: D&C Police

A drugged-up getaway driver crashed into a cottage after trying to outrun the police during a 100 mph chase through North Devon.

Christon Bayliss had just stolen £1,288 of copper cables from a BT depot in Barnstaple when his Volkswagen Golf was seen by an unmarked police car.

He sped off when he realised he was being followed and reached speeds of more than 100mph before he crashed in the village of West Buckland.

His passenger was injured when the 400 metres of copper cabling which they had just stolen was thrown forward by the impact. Bayliss left him screaming in pain and tried to run off.

He had four times the safe limit of cannabis in his system and had no licence or insurance.

You may also want to watch:

The chase started on the A361 and he sped at 60mph through built up areas, went the wrong way round a roundabout, and crossed double white lines.

He turned onto a narrow lane leading towards West Buckland and police followed him at 65mph before he lost control in the village and crashed.

Most Read

He reversed back into the chimney breast of a cottage as he tried to get away from a police car which had blocked him in.

Passenger Dan Smith, who had helped him raid the depot at Whiddon Valley was screaming for help but Bayliss tried open his driver’s door to get out, damaging the police car which had blocked him in.

The officers took a mobile phone image of the scene which they posted on the Road Policing Team twitter feed and shows the wrecked Golf and the cottage.

Bayliss, aged 26, of High Street, Barnstaple, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving, theft and having no licence or insurance.

He was jailed for 14 months, suspended for two years and banned from driving for two years by Judge Robert Linford at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid community work, 20 rehabilitation activity days, and to attend a thinking skills course.

Smith, aged 24, of Barnstaple, was taken to hospital after the crash. He later admitted theft and was fined £150 by magistrates.

The judge told Bayliss: “You drove all over the road at speeds which were at times in excess of 100mph. You contravened double white lines and went at 60mph in 30mph zones.

“You eventually reversed the car into a house. Inside the car was a quantity of copper which you had stolen from BT. Your passenger was injured.

“You had no driving licence or insurance and drugs exceeding the proscribed limit were found in your system.”

Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, told an earlier hearing that a police car on the A361 followed Bayliss’s VW Golf at 10.15pm on July 10 last year and tried to stop him for speeding and other traffic offences.

A pursuit started in which he drove at dangerous speeds on the A361 and at 65mph on the lanes leading to West Buckland.

After the crash, he claimed they found they had been driving around ‘looking for bits and bobs’ and found the cable in a hedge. He claimed not to have seen the police car’s blue flashing lights.

He apologised for upsetting the residents of the village and to his friend, who was injured in the crash. The cable was worth £1,288 but would have fetched only £800 as scrap.

Emily Pitts, defending, said Bayliss had split up with his partner shortly before the offence and was sleeping on a friend’s floor. He has adult ADHD which he chose to treat with cannabis rather than prescribed medication.

He now has stable accommodation and has held down a labouring job despite the Covid 19 epidemic.

He has wants to change his life so he be a better father to his young daughter and hopes to tackle his cannabis issues at the Amber Foundation at Chawleigh.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus