A drug addict led police on a chase through residential streets as he feared he was being pursued by thugs who had threatened him days before.
Michael Harrison was in fact being followed by an unmarked police car through Bloxwich in February last year.
The chase only ended when Harrison collided with a grandfather travelling with his 16-year-old grandson in the passenger seat.
The 26-year-old avoided jail at Wolverhampton Crown Court but was banned from the roads for three years for dangerous driving. Mr Alexander Barnfield, prosecuting, said police were alerted to Harrison’s blue MG Rover for an unrelated matter.
He added: “The defendant was being followed in an unmarked police car. He then noticed the vehicle and performed a U-turn, mounted the kerb and made off at speed.”
The court heard that the chase started in Avon Road, and continued on to Well Lane, Beresford Road and Hardy Road, before Harrison collided with the other vehicle at a T-junction at Goscote Lane. The court was told both the grandfather and grandson in the vehicle suffered minor injuries and their car was written off.
It emerged during the hearing that Harrison had a number of previous driving offences including taking a vehicle without consent, driving without a licence and a charge of driving dangerously in 2007. He had been convicted in April for stealing £450 of diesel from petrol stations in Walsall.
Mr Christopher O’Gorman, defending, said: “Mr Harrison didn’t think he was driving away from the police, he thought he was driving away from the people who had threatened him three days before.”
He added that Harrison had been attending sessions regularly to beat his drug addiction. Harrison, of Summer Lane, Shelfield, Walsall, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. He was given a 52 week sentence suspended for two years as well as a two-year supervision order. Harrison must also carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.
He was disqualified from driving for three years. Sentencing Harrison, Judge Martin Walsh said: “Your driving put members of the public at considerable risk.”