Motorist jailed for police chase

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Crown Court Swindon Crown Court

AN uninsured motorist who led police on a chase has been jailed for 11 months.

Michael Morris was late for work when he got behind the wheel of a sporty Toyota Celica, even though he didn’t have a licence.

And when police waiting at lights on the A361 near Salthrop crossroads spotted the 31-year-old’s out of date tax disk, he led the officers on a 15-mile chase on country roads and residential streets going through numerous red lights and round roundabouts the wrong way.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting showed Swindon Crown Court a video from the police car taken on Wednesday, March 21.

It showed the silver car speeding along the road away from Wroughton before turning right on to Yew Tree Lane going towards Broad Hinton at more than 80mph.

After heading towards Clyffe Pypard Morris turned back towards Winterbourne Bassett doing more than 90mph along the country lane.

As the officers followed with lights flashing and siren blaring he passed the White Horse and went back on to the A361 heading back towards Wroughton.

Going at more than 100mph he then overtook other cars before going through the temporary traffic lights where the chase started when they were red.

Morris then went through Wroughton going the wrong side of bollards and roundabouts at 80mph.

He then went up Pipers Way at 80mph before turning on to Marlborough Road, Windsor Road, Queens Drive, Whitbourne Avenue and Kingswood Avenue.

The Celica went over traffic calming measures at more than 50mph and the video stopped as the chase continued in Welcombe Avenue, Marlowe Avenue, Courtenay Road and Frobisher Drive.

In Burghley Close, near Buckhurst Park Community Centre, he jumped from the car but the police car struck his driver’s door, sending him over the wing of the patrol vehicle.

Mr Meeke said when the car was examined a sticker was found on the stereo saying “Sorry officer: I thought you wanted a race.”

Morris, of Greenham Walk, Park North, admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance and not having a proper licence. The court heard he had a history of driving offences.

Tony Bignall, defending, said his client was very sorry for what he had done but decided to drive after missing the bus to work in Pewsey.

He said the vehicle had been bought with a friend for track racing but he made the foolish decision to drive it, despite only having a provisional licence.

Mr Bignall said his client’s partner, who is studying to be a social worker, suffers agoraphobia and he is her unofficial carer.

Jailing him Judge Douglas Field said: “This was very dangerous driving: this is a very serious case.

“You were driving at very fast speeds both in the country, in villages and in built-up areas.

“You went through red lights, you overtook in the face of oncoming traffic, went round bollards and roundabouts the wrong way, such was your determination to get away from the police ,but they doggedly pursued you and finally you came to grief and you were arrested.”

As well as the 11-month jail term he banned Morris from the road for two years and until he has passed an extended test.

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