A SERIAL offender with a string of driving and drug convictions to his name has been jailed for 30 months.

Lee Hepburn, 26, pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing cannabis – more than £10,000 worth – with intent to supply, as well as dangerous driving, failing to stop and two counts of driving while disqualified.

During one of the incidents last summer, Hepburn led police on a 70mph car chase through West Howe, driving down a footpath before smashing head-on into another car.

The driver of the Daewoo Matiz, Mrs Windsor, and her two grandchildren, aged 13 and 10, suffered whiplash, bruising and severe shock.

Mrs Windsor needed an operation as the crash exacerbated a previous injury.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard that Hepburn, of Highlands Crescent, had appeared in court on 26 occasions for 87 offences, starting in 2003 when he was 15.

In mitigation, Tom Horder said the defendant was dealing drugs because he was being threatened.

Mr Horder said Hepburn had a troubled childhood as a result of domestic abuse.

He said: “He has two children, who he describes as the only good thing in his life, and says the hardest thing about being in prison is being away from them.”

Jailing Hepburn, who was also banned from driving for two years, Judge Samuel Wiggs said: “I know it wasn’t your intention to hit that car. It must have been the most frightening experience imaginable having you emerge from the walkway at speed.”

Of the drugs offences, he said: “I accept that you were under a considerable degree of pressure. That was caused in the first place by your putting yourself in a position where pressure could be applied to you.”

Countdown to Hepburn’s arrest

  •   May 18: Hepburn is spotted in Kinson driving a blue Vauxhall Astra while disqualified, but he evades police pursuit.
  •  May 20: Police locate the car at a house and Hepburn is arrested. Some £3,764 worth of cannabis is found in a bag in the car, as well as scales and a list of dealers.
  • July 9: While on bail for the previous offences, Hepburn is spotted leaving through a window when police interrupt a drugs deal at a house. Another bag is found nearby containing £6,690 worth of cannabis.
  • July 21: Just after 6pm, Hepburn is again spotted behind the wheel of a blue Astra, and he leads police on a 70mph chase along Turbary Park Avenue, Mandale Road, and down a footpath leading to Poole Road. He collides with another vehicle but drives away at speed.
  •  July 25: Arrested in Poole Park, with a further £600 worth of cannabis on his person, and around £500 cash in his pocket.