THE driver of a car which was tactically stopped on the M56 was under the influence of drugs and was disqualified from driving at the time.

Adam Edge, of Frank Street in Widnes, was also convicted of driving without insurance when he was eventually stopped by police after a brief chase through Warrington.

The 19-year-old had avoided custody after being handed a suspended sentence in December last year following burglary and driving offences in Lancashire.

But he will now serve time in a young offender institute after ‘squandering the opportunity’ he had previously been afforded.

Edge appeared at Chester Crown Court, where Anna Price, prosecuting, explained how Edge was spotted by police on the A57 shortly after 1.50pm on February 23.

He failed to stop the Citroën Xsara he was driving after being instructed to do so by officers, who after a short chase were forced to carry out a tactical stop on the M56.

The car, which contained three other occupants as well as driver Edge, was ‘boxed off’ by police and brought to a stop.

When officers asked for his name, Edge told them it was Jason and that he had bought the car the day before.

Officers were informed that the defendant had given false details, and when confronted about this, the defendant said ‘you got me’, before giving his real name.

A drug test returned positive outcomes for cannabis and cocaine, with the test recording a maximum reading of 200 micrograms – four times the level below which accidental exposure could be claimed.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Edge was sentenced at Chester Crown Court

The court also heard how Edge was already disqualified from driving until November 2021, which had been ordered as part of a suspended sentence handed down at Preston Crown Court in December last year.

This sentence, which had been breached by Edge because of his actions on February 23, was issued after he was caught driving a stolen van in Carnforth, Lancashire, containing £10,000 worth of bikes he had stolen from garages.

Defence barrister Peter White told the court of how his client had shown ‘genuine remorse’ by way of his guilty plea, and how he has recently sought employment, showing ‘some level of maturity’.

He said: “The defendant did not understand the gravity of the offences at the time, but he does now as he is facing custody for the first time.

“He has taken some steps to improve his life and find work. He has prepared himself for custody and wants to put head down and use the time the best way that he can.

“He has pleaded guilty and accepts that he has squandered his opportunity.”

Before passing his sentencing, Judge Nicholas Woodward said: “In December last year, you were dealt with leniently by the court with a suspended sentence.

“You have breached almost every part of your court order, and it was inevitable that your suspended sentence would be activated.”

Edge was sentenced to 20 months in a young offender institution and disqualified from driving for one year and 10 months.