BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 18:34 GMT
Darts champ jailed
Les Wallace
Wallace ignored a police car's flashing lights
A former world darts champion has been jailed for four months after admitting dangerous driving.

Les 'McDanger' Wallace, 39, of Midanbury, Broadway, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of drink-driving and dangerous driving.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Wallace was seen by police driving his red Ford Sierra through the city's streets too fast.

He ignored the police car's blue flashing lights and drove the wrong way up a one-way street, and several other roads, to try and get away.

He made a very wrong decision to drive that night. He fully accepts his driving was dangerous

Charles Thomas, defence
His dangerous driving caused other cars to swerve out of the way.

Wallace then abandoned the car and ran off chased by a police officer who caught him when he fell over.

A breath test found he was nearly twice the legal alcohol limit of 35mg.

Wallace, who won the Embassy World Darts Championship in 1997, had initially denied he had been driving.

At first, he claimed a female friend had been at the wheel but later admitted he had been driving in another interview with police.

'Protect public'

The defence said Wallace had a drink problem which he was trying to address.

Charles Thomas told the court Wallace had been "ill-equipped" to cope with fame and the attention it brought him.

He said: "Les Wallace found it difficult to cope with people who were always pushing drinks at him.

"He made a very wrong decision to drive that night. He fully accepts his driving was dangerous.

"He fully accepts he did not stop for that police car."

Sentencing Wallace, Judge John Boggis QC, said to Wallace: "It's of no thanks to you that someone was not seriously hurt by your driving that night.

"The public are entitled to be protected from people like you who drink and drive."

Wallace had a previous conviction for drink-driving in 1996 - he was sentenced to four months for each offence to be served concurrently.

Click here to go to Southampton
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories