Death crash driver back behind bars over drunken police chase

John Tang.
John Tang.

A driver has been returned to prison over a drunken police chase almost a decade after he caused the death of man when he used a public road as a race track.

John Tang, 34, told police officers he had taken ketamine after they had to support him as he got out of his car to be arrested on March 31 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard the officers had spotted Tang’s car swerving across the carriageway on roads in Normanton, Wakefield, in the early hours of the morning.

They signalled for Tang to stop but he sped off along Wakefield Road. He reached up to 70mph in 30mph residential areas.

He drove through two sets of red lights and narrowly avoided colliding with two cars.

Tang was arrested when he stopped outside Freeston Academy. Syam Soni, prosecuting, said officers had to support him as he left the car and he smelt strongly of alcohol.

Tang later refused to provide a blood sample. He told officers he would have had drugs in his system as he had taken ketamine.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen of blood.

Tang was jailed for four years in 2007 after he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Tang, then aged 25, was sentenced alongside another man for causing the death of Stephen Garrett.

Mr Garrett, of Normanton, was a front-seat passenger in the other man’s Vauxhall Cavalier when the vehicle went out of control on Whitwood Common Lane, Whitwood.

The car hit a roundabout, veered across the road and clipped a kerb before smashing through a fence and ploughing into nearby woodland.

Mr Garrett died at the scene from facial injuries.

A jury heard Tang had been following the other man in his black Honda Civic at the time of the smash, which happened on August 14 2006.

Witnesses said the two cars were travelling “bumper to bumper” and one described them as being “like dodgem cars”.

Nick Adlington, mitigating, said it was accepted that Tang’s latest offences were made worse by his previous conviction.

Mr Adlington said Tang was a self employed personal trainer who also worked hard in his family’s takeaway business.

Tang was given a 14-month jail sentence.

Recorder Ray Singh said: “You took a life on the last occasion.

“Not withstanding that you were back behind the wheels of a vehicle driving in a dangerous manner.

“It was only through good fortune that no one was hurt or killed by your driving.

“That conviction in 2007 should have been a wake up call for you but clearly is has not been.”

Tang was also banned from driving for three years, seven months.

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