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Man who led police on high-speed chase in Swindon has jail term cut
5:30am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
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.
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