A three-year-old girl was “hysterical” when she was found in the back of a drug dealer’s car after it was stopped following a 40-mile long, 150mph police chase, officers have said.
Police have described their shock when they found the child after they stopped Thomas Birkbeck’s Audi A4 at Boston Spa, in North Yorkshire, following a chase up the A1(M) to Scotch Corner and then back down the opposite carriageway.
Helicopter footage of the pursuit shows how the car collided with several vehicles on the motorway as it swerved from lane to lane.
Birkbeck, 31, from Dinnington, South Yorkshire, appeared before a judge at York Crown Court on Friday and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, North Yorkshire Police confirmed.
His car sped off from officers after it was first stopped near Catterick on May 17. A large amount of cannabis was found in the vehicle when it was stopped again after the high-speed pursuit.
The officers involved took to Twitter after the incident to explain how they used Tactical Pursuit And Containment (TPAC) techniques to box in the car and bring it to a halt.
Birkbeck admitted dangerous driving and other offences, including possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
Traffic Sergeant Julian Pearson described his shock after finding the girl in the Audi.
He told BBC Look North: “I then looked into the back and saw a hysterical three-year-old.
“It was chilling, upsetting and ... just the sheer thought that had that vehicle crashed that child would have died.
“And, could I have lived with myself knowing that?”