In the Media

Insomniac led police on 40 mile car chase thinking he was in computer game

PUBLISHED August 6, 2012

Insomniac Bharat Keshwala led police on a 40-mile high-speed car chase because he 'thought he was in a computer game' thruogh lack of sleep, a court has heard.

Keshwala, 48, had not slept for weeks and was in a 'dream-like state' when he got behind the wheel of his father's Mercedes, Manchester Crown Court was told.

He was spotted by police zig-zagging around Manchester city centre and haring through red lights at speeds of 90mph.

Officers pursued him as he sped onto the M62 and out of the city, finally pulling over at Copy Lane, Bootle, near Liverpool.

Keshwala, of Rochdale Road, Harpurhey, admitted dangerous driving at an earlier hearing and hung his head as he was sentenced to an 80 hour unpaid work order, with 12 months supervision.

Banning him from the road until he takes an extended retest, Recorder David Turner QC said it was 'an appalling piece of driving over an extended period'.

The court heard that Keshwala was a recovering alcoholic who 'had not slept for 30 days' at the time of the offences.

His lawyer said he had been traumatised by a 'horrendous' robbery at his family's post office in Harpurhey and by childhood experiences in Uganda, where Indian families were forced out of the country.

Tests conducted in the aftermath of the dramatic chase revealed Keshwala was below the drink-driving limit, with no drugs in his system.

But Brian Berlyne, prosecuting, told court: "In interview, he said he believed he was in a computer game, it felt fun and enjoyable, and he was concentrating on the road ahead in a computer world of his own.

"Eventually reality hit him, and so he stopped for police."