A driver who led police on a near 140mph chase through the Black Country before losing control and crashing onto a railway line has been jailed for 13 months.
Nathan Arnett was at the wheel of a £45,000 three-and-a-half litre BMW 335 belonging to a relative of his girlfriend and did not have permission to drive the luxury sports car when near tragedy struck, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
The black convertible ploughed through a wooden fence, careered across a building yard and plunged 30 feet down an embankment on to a live train track at Hamstead, Birmingham, revealed prosecutor Miss Alka Brigue.
The 28-year-old defendant climbed from the wreckage of the written off car and fled. He was later arrested but went on the run for a year before finally being spooked into giving himself up when a police car pulled up alongside him in traffic earlier this month, the court was told.
Arnett ran away but contacted police half an hour later. “Thirteen months of waiting for the tap on the shoulder came to a head when that police car innocently pulled alongside him,” explained Mr Gurdeep Garcha, defending.
Arnett was spotted by a police officer speeding along the Black Country New Road near its junction with Great Western Road in Great Bridge around 3.50am on October 23 2011.
It accelerated away and reached speeds of up to 140mph as the chase raced through 30 and 40mph zones to Newton Road, Great Barr where another patrol joined the pursuit and logged its own speed as 110mph as it failed to catch the BMW through Great Barr and along the A34 towards Birmingham, continued Miss Brigue.
Then Arnett lost control and crashed before fleeing from the scene but police found a piece of paper with his address on in the wreckage and arrested him there soon afterwards. Neither his girlfriend nor the owner of the BMW would make statements and he did not answer his bail to appear for sentence on February 10 last year.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was finally detained on March 5 this year.
Defence counsel Mr Garcha said: “The BMW was at his address, the keys were available and the temptation was too great to resist. He knew he should not have been driving the car and panicked when he saw the police vehicle requesting him to stop. He does not challenge the description of the speeds reached.”
Arnett, of Mervyn Road, Handsworth, whose 11 previous convictions included one for driving while disqualified in 2007, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and breaking his bail.
He was locked up by Recorder Balraj Bhatia, who told him: “This was grossly excessive speed. It was sheer good fortune nobody was killed.”