A SMITHS Wood man who led police on a high-speed chase through Castle Bromwich at speeds up to 70mph has avoided a jail sentence.
Throughout the chase, during which Daniel Michael went over speed bumps in residential streets at more than 50mph, the police car was on his tail and filming the event.
And after watching the recording, a judge at Warwick Crown Court told the 21-year-old of Guernsey Drive that he deserved to go to prison.
But instead, he was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid work, and banned from driving for 18 months.
The Warwickshire Police vehicle’s camera alerted the officers to the fact that the West Midlands force had an interest in the Fiesta, so they began to follow it.
Realising he was being followed, Michael, who had three passengers, sped away towards Castle Bromwich.
There followed a ten-minute pursuit into Castle Bromwich, back out to Water Orton, Coleshill, and then returning to Castle Bromwich where he drove straight across a grassed area and crashed into a low fence.
A recording from the police car showed that during the pursuit, Michael drove over speed bumps on housing estates at more than 50mph, mounted a verge to get past other cars waiting at a T-junction, and overtook in the face of oncoming traffic.
He went straight over mini-roundabouts without slowing, ignored red lights, including one at a major traffic island where he then went the wrong way round it, and drove at speeds of around 70mph in a 40mph zone.
After crashing the Fiesta, Michael got out and ran off, but was caught and arrested.
When he was questioned Michael, who admitted his driving had been dangerous, said he had only bought the car two or three weeks earlier, and had no insurance and no licence.
Sentencing him, Recorder David Mason QC told Michael: “I have been watching you during the course of these proceedings, and have read quite a lot about you, and I believe you are genuinely sorry for what happened.
“You will agree with me that was a disgraceful piece of driving. So easily could you have lost control and caused injury or death to anyone else, including the people in your vehicle.
“When I first read the papers I couldn’t see how I could avoid sending you immediately to prison, because it deserves it.
“But I have read the reports. There were family difficulties which may have put you on the wrong course, but you appear now to be back on track.”