A DRUNK who was 16 times over the drug-drive limit was downing vodka and throwing items out of his van window while leading police on a chase.

Shaun Sergeant was only stopped once a stinger was deployed into the road to stop him from going any further – but rather then pull over the 39-year-old aimed his car at a police vehicle before smashing into the side of it, causing a police officer to be flung three metres into the air.

PC Benson, a new recruit who had only been operational within Lancashire Constabulary for three weeks, was left with two fractures to his arm while a second colleague suffered whiplash.

Former Blackburn College Student Sergeant tried to get away from the scene but was caught by officers nearby.

Opening the case, prosecutor David Clarke said: “The case relates to events in the early hours of Tuesday the 18th of February when at around 12.35am PC Wilson was driving his marked police car on Clayton Green road in Chorley.

“At one point he saw the Citroen Berlingo in question travelling in the direction of the A6 roundabout. The officer could see there was a male driver and a female passenger. The only reason he took any interest in the car was because he saw one of the headlights was not illuminated. He decided to follow but after that the vehicle speed up for no apparent reason and started to take a number of left turns.

“The officer was concerned so he requested assistance at that stage and activated his emergency equipment to indicate to the driver to pull over.”

However Sergeant did not pull over, with dashcam footage shown in Preston Crown Court revealing the extent of his dangerous driving, which lasted several minutes and saw him mounting the pavement, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving over a roundabout.

At one stage the defendant started to throw items out of the window of his van, one of which included an electrical heater, in a bid to stop the police car from pursuing him.

The chase was brought to an end when Sergeant hit a stinger which had been laid out in the road to stop him, close to the junction of Preston Road and Dawson Lane in Whittle-le-Woods.

But rather than stopping his van at that point he steered it into a stationary police car. One officer was inside the van at the time while a second was stood just outside the door – with the force of the smash causing him to be flung metres into the air.

Once arrested Sergeant tested twice over the drink-drive limit and 16 times over the drug-drive limit, admitting that had been on an 18-hour vodka and cocaine binge.

The two injured officers have both suffered as a result of the crash, with PC Benson left unable to work and having difficulties looking after his own child.

Defending Sergeant, Daniel Prowse said his client, who had been out of trouble for 10 years, spiralled out of control and hit the bottle following the news that his mum had terminal cancer.

He added that as a result of that, he his long-term partner had left him, leaving him unable to see his kids and rendering him homeless.

He added that Sergeant, of Jedburgh Avenue, Bolton, had shown remorse for the ‘catastrophic decision’ that he had made.

Jailing him for two years and eight months, Judge David Potter said: “You appear for sentence for the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

“In the early hours of the 18th of February, you were driving your van when in your own admission you had been drinking vodka throughout the day and admitted while driving the vehicle. On top of that you had consumed a very considerable amount of cocaine.

“That indicates to this court the level of intoxication you were under when you took the decision consciously and deliberately to go and pick up a friend and drive them home.”

Speaking of the collision, he said: “Notwithstanding that you now had a puncture, you still had some control over the vehicle. No sooner had that vehicle gone of the stinger that you saw the police van on the right-hand side of the road. For reasons I accept that you cannot fully explain, that had everything to do with the alcohol and drugs you had consumed, you steered that vehicle into collision with that van.”