A DRIVER who led police on a high speed chase through narrow residential streets in the middle of the day has been jailed and banned from driving.
Michael Murphy cut up an unmarked armed police response car, narrowly missing a cyclist, and when they turned on their blue lights to get him to stop he sped off.
The 21-year-old, of Sherrington Avenue in Allesley, claimed in court he did so because he believed they were men who had previously got him to stop his car using police-style blue lights before beating him up.
The jury at Warwick Crown Court rejected his claim and convicted him of dangerous driving, and Judge Alan Parker sentenced him to 10 months behind bars and banned him from driving for 13 months on his release.
The court had heard Murphy, who had no tax or insurance for the Peugeot 206 he was driving at the time, reached speeds of 60mph as he led police along Four Pounds Avenue, Barkers Butts Lane, Fynford Road – a narrow residential road with cars parked on both sides – Radford Road and Bede Road.
At one point during the chase on November 4 last year he braked so hard smoke billowed from the car’s tyres and the officers were told to abandon the chase because of the danger to the public.
But they caught up with Murphy moments later after he had dumped the car and when arrested he told them his name was Khan, said prosecutor Lisa Hancox.
Andrew Wallace, defending, conceded there had to be a prison sentence, but asked the judge to keep it as short as possible.
Judge Parker told Murphy: “The length of the pursuit was no more than half a mile and lasted less than a minute, but you did travel at speeds of up to 60mph and you lost control of your car at one point, mounting the kerb.
“It’s fortunate there was no-one there or someone infirm crossing the road, or maybe a mother with a child or children or a child in a pram. The consequences in that event would have been beyond devastating.
“People like you who drive dangerously as part of a pursuit in a determined attempt to get away from the police, putting people on those roads at risk of mortal danger, must go to prison.”