The grandson of late Manchester United ‘Busby Babe’ Denis Viollet has escaped prison after drunkenly leading police on a 70mph chase in his father’s BMW while his six children were home alone on Christmas Day.
Nicholas Viollet, 32, has a string of previous convictions for violence, drink driving, theft and other offences.
This week at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Viollet faced jail after admitting dangerous driving.
However, he was only given a nine month jail sentence, suspended for two years after saying his drink driving jaunt occurred when he had ‘fallen off the wagon.’
During his criminal career, Viollet who lives on benefits in Flixton, Greater Manchester, has been subject to various ASBOs.
Nicholas Viollet, 32, has a string of previous convictions for violence, drink driving, theft and other offences but avoided jail this week
He escaped prison after drunkenly leading police on a 70mph chase in his father’s BMW while his six children were home alone on Christmas Day
Viollet is the grandson of late Manchester United ‘Busby Babe’ Denis Viollet (pictured playing for Stoke City in 1961)
His latest brush with the law started after police spotted two cars speeding past them in the opposite direction.
The officers turned round to follow but Viollet sped away.
Anthony Longworth prosecuting said: ‘The driver decided to drive onto a residential road which has a 30mph speed limit and was driving at speeds reaching 70mph over speed restrictions and mini-roundabouts. The roads also had private properties and vehicles parked on the side of the road.
‘Eventually, the defendant stopped the vehicle and ran away from it but was detained a short distance later after a foot chase.’
Viollet had 45 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath although there was a fault with the breathalyser machine. He subsequently refused to give a blood test.
The legal alcohol limit for driving in breath is 35mg.
Inquiries revealed he had had no insurance and had no driving license.
In mitigation defence counsel Alison Mather said: ‘Back in 2017, he lost his long term partner to cervical cancer at the age of 31 and he was then left with six children, four of which with that partner. Since that time he has made very positive steps to make sure they are well cared for.
‘He explains to me he had not been drinking for a period of three years but had fallen off the wagon on Christmas Eve and behaved irresponsibly. He had four pints which won’t be completely different from the reading of 43mg, returned to his parent’s address and took his father’s car out for a drive with the intention to go out and return for Christmas morning.
‘Perhaps the loss of his partner three years ago has not been fully dealt with by the defendant -no doubt due to being extremely busy with four children between the ages of five and 14. He now realises he does need to deal with that.’
Viollet had 45 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath although there was a fault with the breathalyser machine. He subsequently refused to give a blood test
In 2005, he was branded ‘Public Enemy Number One’ after he helped jail a schoolmistress who was arrested for waving a gun at vandals, including him, invading her property. He testified against Linda Walker who opened fire on him and a group of pals with a Walther CP88 gas powered pistol after going ‘totally loopy’ because she had fallen victim to thieves who preyed on her home and garden shed
The court heard four of Viollet’s children have been cared for by his parents while the other two from a previous relationship are living with their mother.’
Viollet also admitted failing to provide a specimen, no insurance and no license.
Sentencing Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: ‘In the very early hours of Christmas Day in 2019 at 1.35am you were out and about in your father’s car when you knew you were not insured, had no license and also knew you had been drinking.
‘You came upon the police or they came upon you and instead of stopping as instructed you sped off trying to escape them. It’s a relatively short distance that was covered but you were going at 70mph in residential roads governed by 30mph limits and a whole number of speed calming devices and road marks.
‘This was Christmas Day, you have got six children, little children at that all relatively young and yet your in a police station
‘This was clearly extremely irresponsible and it seems to me that that is how you live your life – you do what you want when you want regardless of the consequences to other people. You have six other people you care for and responsible for small children who can’t be responsible for themselves. There comes to a point where you do have to step up and take on your responsibilities which so far you singularly have failed to do.
‘Because of the age and circumstances of the children already losing their mother I am prepared to give you an opportunity in the community. But any court will see that you have been given a chance because of the children and their youth. They won’t give you a second one so make sure you take the opportunity you have been given.’
Viollet was also banned from driving for two years and will attend 25 rehabilitation requirement days. He must pay £250 costs at the rate of £10 a week.
In 2005, he was branded ‘Public Enemy Number One’ after he helped jail a schoolmistress who was arrested for waving a gun at vandals, including him, invading her property.
He testified against Linda Walker who opened fire on him and a group of pals with a Walther CP88 gas powered pistol after going ‘totally loopy’ because she had fallen victim to thieves who preyed on her home and garden shed.
Mother of three Mrs Walker, then £35,000-a-year head of year at a special needs told police: ‘The law is on the side of these criminals and yobs and not the victims. They have all the rights’.
She was jailed for six months for affray and possessing a firearm and spent 36 days in jail before being freed on appeal after a wave of outrage.
However, she lost her job New Park High School in Salford, Greater Manchester where she was head of Food Technology and head of Year 11.
She subsequently ran a fish and chip shop.
At the time of the teacher’s arrest Viollet, then 17, had been convicted of shoplifting and later repeatedly flouted his ASBO.
This included possessing an air weapon in a public place after he showed off a gun in his local pub.
In 2010, he was given 20 months jail after he and two friends beat a man so severely he was left partially sighted. The victim was kicked, punched and stamped on in the drunken attack because one of the yobs believed he was ‘ripped off’ over £20.
Then in 2015 he was locked away for 19 months after he punched a man in the face and broke his jaw during a row at a block of flats in Sale.