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Penhill police chase driver given two-year ban
8:20am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
A MOTORIST who sped the wrong way up one way roads and drove on grassland by a Penhill play park has been banned from driving for two years.
Thomas Compton, who does not have a driving licence, then jumped out of his girlfriend’s vehicle and ran away from police.
But the pursuit was all caught on the patrol vehicle's video and one of the officers recognised the 20-year-old.
Compton denied he was the man behind the wheel but he was convicted by magistrates following a trial in November.
Pushpanjali Gohil, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the incident took place shortly after 1pm on Sunday, May 27.
She played the DVD from the patrol car which was stationary in Penhill Drive when a black Fiat Punto went past.
As the officers pulled out to try and stop the vehicle, one is heard saying he saw Compton driving.
The video footage showed the traffic was light but another car had swerve to avoid the Punto, which was heading towards it.
Compton continued through the one way system in the wrong direction in to Minety Road, before turning sharp left and going off road.
The car went across the grassland before it struck a raised drain and slewed sideways, causing the driver to leap out and run off.
Miss Gohil said: “On the DVD an officer giving chase can be heard thanking the fact there are no children playing in that park.
“Of course any child could have run in front of the car. We would say it was a deliberate disregard for the safety of others.”
Compton, of Ramsbury Avenue. denied angerous driving and failing to stop for a police officer.
But the justices found him guilty following a trial and sent the matter to the Crown Court for sentence, deeming their powers insufficient.
Rob Ross, defending, said his client, who has no previous convictions, still maintains he was not the driver seen running from the scene.
The chase, though clearly dangerous, is not very long, he said, lasting just over a minute from start to finish with speeds reaching about 42mph in a 20mph zone.
He said that his client had no convictions before and had not been in trouble in the seven months since the incident.
Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose said: "The driving is so serious that a custodial sentence is merited.
“But I bear in mind this is your first convictionand all that I have read in the pre-sentence report about you.
“I must bear in mind all I have seen in the video.”
He imposed a six-month jail term suspended for two years and ordered Compton to do 210 hours of unpaid work for the community and 21 hours at an attendance centre.
He also banned him from the road for two years and until he has passed an extended test and ordered him to pay £250 costs at £5 a week from his benefits.