A drugs mule who led police on a 120mph chase down the M4 has been jailed for six years.
Sentencing Dwayne Komakech at Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday afternoon, Judge Jason Taylor QC blasted: “The consequences given your speeds could easily have been fatal.”
The court heard the 25-year-old Londoner, who already has more than 50 offences on his record, travelled from the capital to South Wales – where his partner lives – in January.
Dwayne Komakech’s custody shot Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE
A crack cocaine addict, he had been given an opportunity to wipe clean the debt he owed to dealers by driving a car from the Cardiff area back to London.
On the morning of January 23, 2020, South Wales Police flagged a 2018-plate black BMW on the police national computer system – meaning officers would be alerted if it was spotted by automatic number plate recognition cameras.
It was a hire car, leased from London-based luxury hire car firm IX Rentals on December 13, 2019, in the name of a woman apparently of south east Asian origin whose address was given as the Old Kent Road. It later transpired the woman did not exist.
The car was spotted driving down the M4 heading east past the Membury services at around 8.30pm.
Prosecutor Don Tait said: “It was seen driving erratically with speeds recorded of between 50 and 120mph.”
Officers followed discretely behind until Komakech reached queues of traffic, which were building as a result of a road closure at junction 13. He drove onto the hard shoulder, undertaking the line of cars and forcing police behind to put on their lights and sirens.
The BMW took off up the slip road and around the roundabout, jumping at least four red lights and narrowly missing an oncoming vehicle.
He veered off the roundabout, crashed into a metal gate and tried to flee but was caught by the officers.
Found on Komakech or inside the car were 23g of heroin and 42g of crack cocaine with a combined street value of up to £5,500, two knives, £2,585 in cash, cutting agents like bicarbonate of soda and ammonia used to turn cocaine into crack and a Pyrex jug that showed signs of being used to “cook” the class A drug.
Four phones were found with the driver. They included the phones used by County Lines operations nicknamed “Milo” and “Hugo”, with evidence that both phones had been used to send bulk text messages to users in the Cardiff Bay area.
Slips of paper in the car had the word Hugo and a phone number written on them, with Mr Tait suggesting they were the calling card of the County Line which could be handed out to addicts.
Drugs and cash found in the car Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE
A roadside test indicated Komakech was over the limit for cannabis. Police tried to interview him but he threatened the officers with violence and, in the end, a decision was taken not to quiz him.
Komakech, 25, of Leontine Close, Peckham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession of bladed article, driving while disqualified and possession of criminal cash.
He had two previous convictions for weapons offences, making him a third-striker and subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of six months. The youngster had five previous convictions for driving while disqualified.
In a basis of plea, Komakech said he had been told to drive the car back to London from Wales in order to wipe his drugs debt. The basis was not accepted by the Crown.
Defending, Christopher Surtees-Jones said his client had had a difficult upbringing, had fallen in with the wrong crowd and been addicted to crack cocaine.
Before he had been remanded in January he had been working at a car accessories shop in Peckham for six months, with his former boss describing him in a reference as always on time and polite. Komakech hoped to gain employment upon his release from prison.
In a letter to the judge summarised by his lawyer, the defendant said he had found himself in a “vicious circle”. He had a four-year-old son and hoped to be a good father in the future and provide for his family. He had completed drug rehabilitation courses while in prison.
Sentencing the young man to 72 months imprisonment, Judge Taylor described his record for driving while disqualified as appalling.
His driving had been highly dangerous. The judge said: “It was at night. The speeds were high and you lost control.
“As far as the traffic was concerned it might have been light but there were sufficient vehicles and other road users around to put this in significant danger and the consequences given your speeds could easily have been fatal not only to you and those other road users but the police officers in the three vehicles involved in the chase.”
He was banned from driving for five years and five months and ordered to complete an extended retest.