Drunk driver, 35, disappears over 100ft cliff during high-speed police chase before being found alive in the mangled wreckage below
- Mark Johnson-Cooper smashed his Peugeot 207 up in Ramsgate, Kent
- Crashed through a barrier, bounced off apartment roof and hit the ground
- The 35-year-old was found unconscious in the crumpled wreckage
- Admitted dangerous driving and causing £20,000 worth of criminal damage
A drunk driver is lucky to be alive after crashing during a high-speed police chase – when he drove off a 100ft cliff.
Mark Johnson-Cooper crashed his Peugeot 207 Sport through a barrier before plummeting onto apartments and bouncing off the roof, slamming into the ground – 100ft below the edge of the cliff.
Police found the 35-year-old miraculously alive but unconscious in the crumpled wreckage.
Canterbury Crown Court heard he was seen by police driving the car suspiciously with its lights off, while uninsured, though Ramsgate, Kent, at just after midnight on February 7.
When officers turned on their blue lights, Johnson-Cooper took off through deserted Ramsgate streets, reaching speeds of 70mph.
He mounted a grass verge, raced through red lights, and then smashed through metal railings, bouncing off the seafront apartments and ending up on the road.
Pictured: The wrecked car after the high-speed chase in Ramsgate, Kent, which the driver miraculously survived
Prosecutor Caroline Knight said: ‘When one sees the state of the vehicle it is nothing short of a miracle he is alive’
Dramatic CCTV footage played in court showed Johnson-Cooper leading police on a four-minute pursuit in dark and wet conditions.
Medical and psychiatric reports revealed Johnson-Cooper’s alcohol intoxication levels, desire to escape the police and suicidal thoughts.
The experts recommended he goes through alcohol and drug treatment programme to help clean up his act and improve his mental health problems.
Mitigating, Phil Rowley said: ‘This is a man whose state of mind was such that he was less culpable than could otherwise be the case.
‘He now realises the very real danger he proposed to others. He clearly had scant regard for he own life at that point.’
Johnson-Cooper, of Margate, Kent, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and causing £20,000 worth of criminal damage to the roof of the property.
Judge Mark Weekes said he would take the ‘unusual decision’ to postpone sentencing for professionals to monitor Johnson-Cooper’s sobriety. He was told he must remain abstinent to avoid jail.
He said: ‘It will give me the chance to see his willingness to change is genuine. It is up to you to resist that temptation and stay sober.’
Johnson-Cooper was granted conditional bail to be spent on house curfew, banned from driving for a minimum of 12 months, and will be sentenced at the same court next month.