Darlington driver who rammed police during A19 pursuit suffered from bipolar disorder

Darlington and Stockton Times: Teesside Crown Court Teesside Crown Court

A DRIVER who rammed two patrol cars during an 85mph chase on a dual-carriageway said after his arrest: "I wasn't happy with the police that day."

Justin Swaby almost shoved one vehicle into the central reservation before his own car flipped over and rolled down the road, a court heard yesterday.

Swaby - who suffers from bipolar affective disorder - refused to stop when an officer began to follow him in Billingham, near Stockton, last May.

The 32-year-old drove safely and within the limit until he reached the A19 where he took off southbound, weaving from one lane to another.

His Citroen Xsara reached speeds of 85mph until another patrol car joined the chase, and the officers tried to slow him down by boxing him in.

Teesside Crown Court was told that Swaby shunted one car to create a gap, "swerved violently" to ram the other vehicle into the central reservation.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Judge George Moorhouse that he lost control of his car, swerved to the nearside, mounted a grass verge and overturned.

Swaby said after his arrest that he had wanted to kill himself, and described his recollection of the high-speed pursuit as like "a cartoon flick page".

He said: "I had an incident when a police officer almost broke my hand in St Cuthbert's graveyard in Darlington, so I was none to happy with the police.

"I wanted to go home. You don't have to stop for a police officer if you don't feel safe. I was legally entitled to go to my home to answer questions there.

"I was not thinking too clearly. I was under a lot of stress. I could not have been under much more stress, short of someone putting a gun to my head."

Carl Swift, mitigating, said: "Mr Swaby did not go out with the intention of getting into a high-speed chase and endangering the lives of police officers."

A psychiatrist said in a report: "At the time of the offences, Mr Swaby's bipolar affective disorder was in relapse and he was displaying manic symptoms.

"It is my view if Mr Swaby's mental illness had not been in relapse, the offences would not have occurred. They were directly linked to relapse."

Swaby, of Bedford Street, Darlington, admitted dangerous driving and two charges of criminal damage being reckless whether life was endangered.

Judge Moorhouse imposed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with supervision, and banned him from the roads for two years.

He told Swaby: "The damage to the police vehicles was relatively minor, and fortunately the officers only suffered minor injuries."

Comments (16)

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7:15pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Robert_ says...

Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it... Robert_
  • Score: 13

7:32pm Mon 24 Feb 14

paul1963 says...

that was a manic depresive when i was kid
that was a manic depresive when i was kid paul1963
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Mon 24 Feb 14

NO EINSTEIN says...

Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
[quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Mon 24 Feb 14

NO EINSTEIN says...

banmeandilljustregis
teragainwithanewuser
name
wrote:
Another looser with Bi-Polar. It doesn't wash with me or any other decent law abiding citizen. Id lock him up for a 10 stretch. That would sort his issues out.
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
[quote][p][bold]banmeandilljustregis teragainwithanewuser name[/bold] wrote: Another looser with Bi-Polar. It doesn't wash with me or any other decent law abiding citizen. Id lock him up for a 10 stretch. That would sort his issues out.[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: -2

8:26pm Mon 24 Feb 14

maclaren says...

NO EINSTEIN wrote:
Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein
[quote][p][bold]NO EINSTEIN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.[/p][/quote]That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein maclaren
  • Score: 15

8:55pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Andyleigh says...

Another sob story to evade justice.
Another sob story to evade justice. Andyleigh
  • Score: 9

9:01pm Mon 24 Feb 14

darloboss says...

maclaren wrote:
NO EINSTEIN wrote:
Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein
sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone
[quote][p][bold]maclaren[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NO EINSTEIN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.[/p][/quote]That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein[/p][/quote]sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone darloboss
  • Score: 5

10:01pm Mon 24 Feb 14

tabby67 says...

Shocking trying to blame it on bi polar don't do the crime if you don't want to to do the time fgs!!!

He could have killed innocent people he deserves coming down hard on people need to stop trying to wriggle out of things that they know exactly what they are doing and blaming it on illness come on!!!
Shocking trying to blame it on bi polar don't do the crime if you don't want to to do the time fgs!!! He could have killed innocent people he deserves coming down hard on people need to stop trying to wriggle out of things that they know exactly what they are doing and blaming it on illness come on!!! tabby67
  • Score: 11

10:17pm Mon 24 Feb 14

maclaren says...

darloboss wrote:
maclaren wrote:
NO EINSTEIN wrote:
Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein
sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone
No he didn't say he doesn't wish it upon anyone, where does he say that? He called two people an ignoramus because they voiced their opinion on this story, how can someone so mentally ill be allowed to drive, did he have a licence was his illness declared to DVLA was he insured ? Was his illness declared to his insurance company THINK NOT the guy is a crook illness or not it's only a miracle that this guy has not killed someone, if he is genuinely
Mentally I'll then fair enough but what in gods name is he doing behind the wheel of a car
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]maclaren[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NO EINSTEIN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.[/p][/quote]That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein[/p][/quote]sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone[/p][/quote]No he didn't say he doesn't wish it upon anyone, where does he say that? He called two people an ignoramus because they voiced their opinion on this story, how can someone so mentally ill be allowed to drive, did he have a licence was his illness declared to DVLA was he insured ? Was his illness declared to his insurance company THINK NOT the guy is a crook illness or not it's only a miracle that this guy has not killed someone, if he is genuinely Mentally I'll then fair enough but what in gods name is he doing behind the wheel of a car maclaren
  • Score: 9

6:27am Tue 25 Feb 14

darloboss says...

maclaren wrote:
darloboss wrote:
maclaren wrote:
NO EINSTEIN wrote:
Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein
sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone
No he didn't say he doesn't wish it upon anyone, where does he say that? He called two people an ignoramus because they voiced their opinion on this story, how can someone so mentally ill be allowed to drive, did he have a licence was his illness declared to DVLA was he insured ? Was his illness declared to his insurance company THINK NOT the guy is a crook illness or not it's only a miracle that this guy has not killed someone, if he is genuinely
Mentally I'll then fair enough but what in gods name is he doing behind the wheel of a car
you need to take your medication maclaren
please dont drive and inform your insurance and dvla
[quote][p][bold]maclaren[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]maclaren[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NO EINSTEIN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.[/p][/quote]That makes it okay then does it when he kills you loved one by driving like a maniac, your the ignoramus no einstein[/p][/quote]sorry maclaren no einstin didnt say that mental illness made it ok only that he dosnt wish it on anyone[/p][/quote]No he didn't say he doesn't wish it upon anyone, where does he say that? He called two people an ignoramus because they voiced their opinion on this story, how can someone so mentally ill be allowed to drive, did he have a licence was his illness declared to DVLA was he insured ? Was his illness declared to his insurance company THINK NOT the guy is a crook illness or not it's only a miracle that this guy has not killed someone, if he is genuinely Mentally I'll then fair enough but what in gods name is he doing behind the wheel of a car[/p][/quote]you need to take your medication maclaren please dont drive and inform your insurance and dvla darloboss
  • Score: -4

7:55am Tue 25 Feb 14

Madadrian says...

NO EINSTEIN wrote:
Robert_ wrote:
Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...
I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.
I hope he does
[quote][p][bold]NO EINSTEIN[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert_[/bold] wrote: Isn't it funny how a few years ago nobody had heard of bi polar disorder and now everybody has it...[/p][/quote]I hope to god you never suffer mental illness you ignoramus.[/p][/quote]I hope he does Madadrian
  • Score: 0

7:57am Tue 25 Feb 14

Madadrian says...

Why did the police provoke him when he was as is claimed driving within the law?
Why did the police provoke him when he was as is claimed driving within the law? Madadrian
  • Score: -1

11:59am Tue 25 Feb 14

DaisyBear says...

Obviously this chap has a few problems that need to be sorted out. However, what concerns me is that, yet again, we see someone so frightened of the police, so distrustful of them, that they will do anything to get away from them. When I was a child I was taught that the police were the ultimate in reliable, honest support; as report after report shows that they lie to protect their own, attack citizens, cover up their mistakes, use their power to abuse others, and manipulate the public, I no longer trust them as I once did.
I am not alone in this; read any newspaper and you will see that trust in the police is waning. Talk to people of any class - upper, middle, working - and you will hear the mistrust and lack of respect for the police as a whole. Many people find that there are individual officers who still resemble the police of old (or certainly of old memory), but that they are let down by too many colleagues who are not so principled.
Obviously this chap has a few problems that need to be sorted out. However, what concerns me is that, yet again, we see someone so frightened of the police, so distrustful of them, that they will do anything to get away from them. When I was a child I was taught that the police were the ultimate in reliable, honest support; as report after report shows that they lie to protect their own, attack citizens, cover up their mistakes, use their power to abuse others, and manipulate the public, I no longer trust them as I once did. I am not alone in this; read any newspaper and you will see that trust in the police is waning. Talk to people of any class - upper, middle, working - and you will hear the mistrust and lack of respect for the police as a whole. Many people find that there are individual officers who still resemble the police of old (or certainly of old memory), but that they are let down by too many colleagues who are not so principled. DaisyBear
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Saint Crow says...

DaisyBear wrote:
Obviously this chap has a few problems that need to be sorted out. However, what concerns me is that, yet again, we see someone so frightened of the police, so distrustful of them, that they will do anything to get away from them. When I was a child I was taught that the police were the ultimate in reliable, honest support; as report after report shows that they lie to protect their own, attack citizens, cover up their mistakes, use their power to abuse others, and manipulate the public, I no longer trust them as I once did.
I am not alone in this; read any newspaper and you will see that trust in the police is waning. Talk to people of any class - upper, middle, working - and you will hear the mistrust and lack of respect for the police as a whole. Many people find that there are individual officers who still resemble the police of old (or certainly of old memory), but that they are let down by too many colleagues who are not so principled.
Can't agree with this.
Obviously as with any large group of people you are inevitably going to get the odd bad egg, who drags the name of the force though the dirt, but the other 99% i've found to be fine, helpful and reliable.
This 'being scared of the police' is just a cop out in my opinion. People always tend to be scared of the police when they've done something wrong.
[quote][p][bold]DaisyBear[/bold] wrote: Obviously this chap has a few problems that need to be sorted out. However, what concerns me is that, yet again, we see someone so frightened of the police, so distrustful of them, that they will do anything to get away from them. When I was a child I was taught that the police were the ultimate in reliable, honest support; as report after report shows that they lie to protect their own, attack citizens, cover up their mistakes, use their power to abuse others, and manipulate the public, I no longer trust them as I once did. I am not alone in this; read any newspaper and you will see that trust in the police is waning. Talk to people of any class - upper, middle, working - and you will hear the mistrust and lack of respect for the police as a whole. Many people find that there are individual officers who still resemble the police of old (or certainly of old memory), but that they are let down by too many colleagues who are not so principled.[/p][/quote]Can't agree with this. Obviously as with any large group of people you are inevitably going to get the odd bad egg, who drags the name of the force though the dirt, but the other 99% i've found to be fine, helpful and reliable. This 'being scared of the police' is just a cop out in my opinion. People always tend to be scared of the police when they've done something wrong. Saint Crow
  • Score: 2

4:30pm Tue 25 Feb 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

Another sorry excuse. Why is it Bi-polar is so prominent these days?

Lock him up and throw the key away.
Another sorry excuse. Why is it Bi-polar is so prominent these days? Lock him up and throw the key away. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 2

11:11pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Jackaranda says...

Bi-polar? He should have thrown in the racist card aswell!!
Bi-polar? He should have thrown in the racist card aswell!! Jackaranda
  • Score: 1

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