Shocking video shows moment van driver high on drugs led police on high-speed chase

Heart-stopping footage shows the moment a stoned van driver led police on a terrifying eight-mile high speed chase - hitting 70mph along residential streets.

Michael Pitts, 24, had no licence or insurance when he reached double the speed limit, drove on the wrong side of the road and skipped through red lights.

Shocking police dash-cam footage also shows him mounting pavements and driving the wrong way around roundabouts in Cannock, Staffordshire.

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A court heard he sped past a number of schoolchildren at break-neck speeds as he tried to evade pursuing officers on November 12 last year.

Michael Pitts, 24, had no licence or insurance when he reached double the speed limit

Pitts also threw a Taser disguised as a mobile phone out of his window during the chase before he was eventually boxed in by several squad cars and arrested.

He was subsequently charged with dangerous driving, drug driving, possession of a Taser, driving without insurance and without a driving licence.

Pitts, of Walsall, West Midlands, admitted the offences but was spared jail when he was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court last Wednesday (Sep 1).

Pitts was handed a two-month prison sentence, suspended for 15 months and given with a 15 month driving ban.

He was also ordered told to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity for 30 days and pay costs of £150.

A judge also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the weapon and the confiscation of the van.

The court was told how traffic officers attempted to stop Pitts after he was seen in a uninsured Citroen Dispatch van on the A5 near Cannock at around 2.30pm.

But instead he floored the accelerator and sped off for eight miles, over-taking other vehicles in a reckless manner.

At one point he mounted the central reservation and continued along the opposite-side carriageway, travelling the wrong way around a mini-island.

The pursuit continued past a group of school children, with the van travelling the incorrect way at an island as Pitts hit 70mph in a 30mph zone.

He then continued along the A460, through a red traffic light, before he decided to come to a stop.

Officers detained Pitts, who tested positive for cannabis at the road side.

PC Thomas Cordall, of Staffordshire Police’s Road Policing Unit, said after the case: “Pitts is clearly a dangerous and reckless driver who put many people at risk on 12 November when he decided to lead officers on a pursuit through Cannock.

“I am thankful that we were able to apprehend Pitts when we did, particularly after he passed a number of school children.

“It is a relief that Pitts did not cause serious injury or worse to other road users and pedestrians that afternoon. I am glad that he will be off our roads for a significant period of time.”