A KNIFEMAN who led police on a terrifying 70mph chase across Swindon is behind bars.

Keiron Barlow, 25, drove the wrong way along the Cirencester Way dual carriageway - narrowly missing other motorists - in a bid to evade capture.

He was eventually halted when he drove the Ford Focus into a fence in Duchess Way.

Barlow, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Swindon Crown Court on Monday, for which he was jailed for nine months.

Three months were added to his prison time for having a knife in a public place and Barlow was also disqualified from driving for 27 months for the dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The chase began after police were alerted to a man in a Ford Focus brandishing a knife on November 11 last year.

Barlow was then spotted driving at speed on Swindon Road and was followed by police. 

He continued to break the speed limit as he turned onto Bridgend Road, ignoring attempts to stop the vehicle, which led to the dramatic chase.

His to evade the police saw Barlow drive 70mph the wrong way down the Cirencester Way, narrowly missing unsuspecting motorists coming in the other direction.

Eventually Barlow found himself in Duchess Way, which is a dead end. In a further attempt to escape capture he jumped out of his moving car and got trapped between the vehicle and a fence, suffering a partial amputation of the thumb on his right hand.

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He refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis in hospital.

A search of Barlow’s car revealed a knife in the driver’s door pocket.

PC James Salmond, of Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Barlow’s actions on the night in question caused considerable concern to the wider public, not only in his manner of driving to evade being caught, but his flagrant use of a knife which is why we were called in the first place.

“Thankfully, no member of the public came to harm as a result of his actions considering the speeds he was driving at on the wrong side of the road during the pursuit.

“Barlow will now have time in prison to consider his actions and we’d like to reassure the public that behaviour like this will not be tolerated across Wiltshire.

“Failure to provide a sample for analysis as well will not mean that you will get off lightly from either drink or drug driving, but will face significant consequences, as proven here.”