A banned driver who led police on a chase through the streets of the Black Country thought he was fleeing men who wanted to harm him, a court has heard.
Philip Hill had only been out of prison for three weeks when he sped away from an unmarked police car in Tipton on August 21. Yesterday, he was jailed for 10 months and banned from the roads for three years for dangerous driving.
Only days before the incident, Hill, aged 31, had been given an ‘Osman Warning’ by Warwickshire Police. It is issued when police have intelligence a person will come to harm, and they offer protection.
Wolverhampton Crown Court was told that Hill, who was already serving a ban, was seen using his mobile phone in a van driving through Tipton.
When the officers’ car, a black Audi, sounded the horn, he honked his horn back and they then turned around to follow him, leading Hill to speed away.
Mr Michael Taylor, prosecuting, said: “He was driving at speeds of 50mph in a 30mph area.
“The defendant overtook five vehicles on the opposite side of the road.
“He approached the junction of High Street and mounted the pavement.
“He then overtook a further eight vehicles, all while driving on the wrong side of the road.”
Hill’s driving only came to an end when his vehicle hit a Ford KA at the junction of Upper Church Lane.
He then jumped on the van, struggled with a police officer and began to run away, the court heard. To catch him, police had to deploy CS gas.
The court was told that Hill had been released on licence only weeks before, having served time behind bars for an unrelated offence.
Mr Gareth Morley, defending, said that Hill did not believe he was being chased by police. “Mr Hill had been given an Osman Warning by Warwickshire Police. They believed his life was in danger,” he said.
“He didn’t realise it was the police and they didn’t activate their flashing lights immediately.
“Once he realised who it was he panicked because he knew he was banned and knew if caught he was going back to prison.”
Hill, of Hobart Road, Tipton, admitted charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and resisting arrest.
Recorder Michael Wasik sentenced Hill to 10 months in prison.
He was also disqualified from driving for three years and must take a mandatory extended test before he is allowed back on the road.