Man who led police on high-speed chase in Swindon has jail term cut

A MOTORIST who put lives at risk by driving through a total of eight red lights in a high-speed chase with cops has had his prison term cut by top judges on appeal.

Daniel James Bell, 22, went through one warning light at 80mph, careered the wrong way round a roundabout and hit speeds of 70mph in a 40mph zone, whilst fleeing from police in Swindon.

Bell, of Haten Road, Stratton St Margaret, was sentenced to 14 months behind bars, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving at Swindon Crown Court in September.

He was also banned from the road for three years.

Yesterday, Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker and Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, reduced that sentence to one year.

The court heard that, in the early hours of June 12, Bell was flashed at by a police officer that had checked his vehicle’s number plate and found that it did not have an up-to-date MOT.

Instead of pulling over, Bell shot off at high speed, leading three cop cars in a potentially lethal chase.

At one point he stopped his car but when an officer got out to approach him, he sped off again, forcing the officer to “take evasive action to avoid injury,” Mr Justice Baker said.

He added that Bell had in the end “made good his escape” from the pursuing officers, but later handed himself in at a police station.

Condemning the offence, Mr Justice Baker said: “This was a bad piece of dangerous driving. There was a very high risk of injury to police and other road users.”

However he allowed the appeal, saying that a full one third discount from his jail sentence ought to have been allowed for Bell’s guilty plea.

“This is a case where the full discount should have been allowed. We quash the sentence of 14 months and substitute one of 12 months,” the judge said.

An appeal against the three-year driving ban was thrown out.

Comments (10)

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7:12am Wed 18 Dec 13

Ringer says...

What an utterly ridiculous waste of our money. The original sentence, which was already too lenient, has only been reduced by 2 months... which will actually equate to this dangerous criminal doing just one month less in prison.

Little wonder that nobody, apart from criminals, has any faith in the Criminal Justice System anymore.
What an utterly ridiculous waste of our money. The original sentence, which was already too lenient, has only been reduced by 2 months... which will actually equate to this dangerous criminal doing just one month less in prison. Little wonder that nobody, apart from criminals, has any faith in the Criminal Justice System anymore. Ringer

8:21am Wed 18 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing!
Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing! house on the hill

9:01am Wed 18 Dec 13

nobody says...

Is it April the 1st today.
Is it April the 1st today. nobody

9:46am Wed 18 Dec 13

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

house on the hill wrote:
Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing!
It says it was heard at the criminal appeals court in London - why would Swindon judges be there?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing![/p][/quote]It says it was heard at the criminal appeals court in London - why would Swindon judges be there? The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

10:56am Wed 18 Dec 13

moonshine50 says...

Ban him from driving FOR LIFE I say !!
Ban him from driving FOR LIFE I say !! moonshine50

12:45pm Wed 18 Dec 13

dukeofM4 says...

He may get out in 6 months, but that new wonderful privatised Probation Service will be looking after him on license. All those disgruntled probation officers who will be motivated by the coming sell off to a company such as Servo in 2015 (as of April 1st they will be part of a company 100% owned by the government in preparation of the sell off).

Perhaps a few of our commentators will buy shares in 'law and order' companies to invest in the community!
He may get out in 6 months, but that new wonderful privatised Probation Service will be looking after him on license. All those disgruntled probation officers who will be motivated by the coming sell off to a company such as Servo in 2015 (as of April 1st they will be part of a company 100% owned by the government in preparation of the sell off). Perhaps a few of our commentators will buy shares in 'law and order' companies to invest in the community! dukeofM4

1:20pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Ringer says...

The Parole Board and Probation Service have been woefully failing and endangering the public for many years now, it's impossible for the 'service' to become any worse.
The Parole Board and Probation Service have been woefully failing and endangering the public for many years now, it's impossible for the 'service' to become any worse. Ringer

5:17pm Wed 18 Dec 13

leafy1 says...

It's about time someone could invent a device which when operated from a police car could stop a speeding car in seconds ,without the need for those stinger tyre devices or lengthy chases etc
It's about time someone could invent a device which when operated from a police car could stop a speeding car in seconds ,without the need for those stinger tyre devices or lengthy chases etc leafy1

11:14pm Wed 18 Dec 13

The Witch says...

house on the hill wrote:
Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing!
All appeals are contested at the Appeal Court in London, local judges would not be allowed to sit on the appeal panel so as to make it look as though it is fairly judged on the merit of each appeal. Still agree the sentence was too light in the first place, the police and CPS must wonder why they bother at times, with the amount of paper work each case engenders for them only to have some judge with his head up his backside giving out light sentences and then even worse the Appeal Court making them even less!
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: Well this is the Swindon judges so what do you expect. A shame he didnt run one of them over then you would see some proper sentencing![/p][/quote]All appeals are contested at the Appeal Court in London, local judges would not be allowed to sit on the appeal panel so as to make it look as though it is fairly judged on the merit of each appeal. Still agree the sentence was too light in the first place, the police and CPS must wonder why they bother at times, with the amount of paper work each case engenders for them only to have some judge with his head up his backside giving out light sentences and then even worse the Appeal Court making them even less! The Witch

1:39pm Thu 19 Dec 13

EmmBee says...

leafy1 wrote:
It's about time someone could invent a device which when operated from a police car could stop a speeding car in seconds ,without the need for those stinger tyre devices or lengthy chases etc
They have one - it's called a shotgun.
[quote][p][bold]leafy1[/bold] wrote: It's about time someone could invent a device which when operated from a police car could stop a speeding car in seconds ,without the need for those stinger tyre devices or lengthy chases etc[/p][/quote]They have one - it's called a shotgun. EmmBee

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