Father of 11 jailed after Porsche hit 133mph during police chase in 50mph zone

Emily Cleary
·4 min read
Custody image of Nathan Gardner who was jailed for 10 months of dangerous driving, failing to stop for the police and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. He led police on a high-speed chase in his Porsche through Littlehampton, West Sussex, on August 23, 2020, hitting speeds of up to 133mph in a 50mph zone after a night out with a friend. See SWNS story SWNNporsche; A dad-of-11 jailed after leading police on a high-speed chase in his Porsche hitting speeds of up to 133mph in a 50mph zone after a night out with a friend. Nathan Gardner was clocked smashing the speed limit in the sports car, then refused to take a breath and drug test when police finally caught up with him. The 43-year-old was spotted swerving across the road in Littlehampton, West Sussex, and led police on a 25-minute pursuit, speeding through red lights. Gardner is the sole carer for the 11 children he had with wife Mandy Gardner, who took her own life in April last year. The mother-of-13 appeared alongside Gardner on TV show Extraordinary Pregnancies on the TLC channel in 2016.
Nathan Gardner was jailed for ten months for dangerous driving, failing to stop for the police and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis (Sussex Police/SWNS)

A dad of 11 has been jailed after leading police on a high-speed chase in his Porsche, hitting speeds of up to 133mph in a 50mph zone after a night out with a friend.

Nathan Gardner refused to take a breath and drug test when police finally caught up with him after the pursuit.

The 43-year-old was spotted swerving across the road in Littlehampton, West Sussex, and led police on a 25-minute chase, including speeding through red lights.

Officers used a “stop stick” to puncture the tyres of the vehicle, but Gardner carried on driving on the rim of the wheel, only slowing down when he saw a pedestrian in the road.

Gardner is the sole carer for the 11 children he had with wife Mandy Gardner, who took her own life in April last year.

Hove, United Kingdom - May 30 , 2015 Long shot of the Holland Road Hove Trial Centre against a dusk sky and a seagull flying past. This was taken in the evening when the court is closed and depicts solely the external public building from across the crossroads with its flagpole, crest and entrance stairwells.
A judge at Hove Crown Court jailed Gardner for ten months and imposed a new driving ban for three years once his prison term is served (Getty images)

The mother of 13 had appeared alongside Gardner on TV show Extraordinary Pregnancies on the TLC channel in 2016.

At the time of recording, the couple had 11 children and were looking forward to welcoming their 12th baby into the family. She gave birth to her 13th child two years ago.

Her widowed husband's night out last August was a brief respite from looking after their children and the grief of his loss, Hove Crown Court heard.

His defence team argued he should only be given a suspended sentence due to his childcare responsibilities, but a judge jailed him for 10 months.

Gardner, from Worthing, West Sussex, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for the police and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis at Brighton Magistrates Court in November.

However, at his sentencing hearing on Tuesday he said he “panicked” when he saw the blue lights of the police cars.

Judge Stephen Mooney said that despite Gardner now having to look after his 11 children, his driving was so poor that “any objective person would comment that that person should lose their liberty”.

Sophie Evans, prosecuting, said Gardner pulled out of the Shell garage in Littlehampton in the early hours of 23 August last year.

She added he was taken out of the car when finally arrested and put on the ground by officers, then refused to take a roadside breath test or drug swipe test.

Greg Johnson, defending, asked for a suspended sentence and said his client “regretted” his actions.

Johnson added that Gardner was able to do unpaid work and said his client did not give a breath test because he was angry at the police for injuring him during his arrest.

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The court heard Gardner has 15 previous convictions for 35 offences, including careless driving, failing to provide a breath test and driving while banned.

Sentencing him, Judge Mooney said the chase was “high risk” despite the time of the morning, and said Gardner had made himself a “hostage to fortune”.

He said Gardner had “compounded stupidity with stupidity” by driving off from the police dangerously.

The judge added that Gardner was probably “panicking” because he was over the drink-drive limit.

He said: “You were perfectly entitled to have a night to socialise, your caring responsibilities do not preclude you from having a life of your own.

“But what you did defies belief. After driving out of the garage you decided to embark on the most appalling piece of driving.

“It is impossible to understand why someone could do what you did. The only conclusion is that you had a fear of being stopped because you had been drinking.

“The manner you then tried to evade the police was stupidity compounded with stupidity.

“Your panic manifested itself as a massive, unnecessary risk to everyone who had been in the area. It is a mercy that nobody was hurt and no damage was caused.”

As well as being jailed, Gardner was given a new driving ban for three years once his prison term is served.

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