Learner driver jailed after leading 110mph seven-mile police chase

A learner driver who travelled at speeds of up to 110mph on the motorway before careering off along residential streets during a four-minute terror ride has been jailed.

The roundabout at junction one of the M5 in West Bromwich looking towards routes for Smethwick
The roundabout at junction one of the M5 in West Bromwich looking towards routes for Smethwick

A police car and force helicopter tracked father-of-three Clive Gordon as he sped for more than six and a half miles – failing to stop at red traffic lights and busy road junctions, driving on the wrong side of the road and narrowly missing hitting other cars head-on, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

When an officer finally caught up with him at a residential address, Gordon told him: "You're a s*** driver – you couldn't catch me."

The police pursuit started at around noon on November 1 last year as the defendant's black car, reported stolen, left the northbound M6 at Junction 8 heading towards West Bromwich.

Gordon pulled over when the police car indicated but shot off again before the officer had a chance to speak to him, said Mr Ian Ball, prosecuting.

He registered speeds of up to 110mph before veering off the motorway at junction 1 for West Bromwich, weaving through traffic on the A41 roundabout and racing through Smethwick along Kenrick Way, Dartmouth Road, Tollhouse Lane and Rabone Lane at double the speed limit.

He eventually stopped at an address in Handsworth unaware that the police helicopter was following him until a police car pulled up, causing him to shoulder-barge the front door in an unsuccessful bid to escape arrest.

Gordon, aged 49, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to dangerous driving, failing to stop and having no licence or insurance.

The court heard that he had 64 previous convictions going back three decades, including two charges of driving whilst disqualified.

Defending him, Ms Lucinda Wilmott-Lascelles said Gordon had been due to take his driving test the following week and had sped away from the police car because he did not have a licence.

"He realises his actions were unacceptable and that, on reflection, he put the lives of others in danger for one foolish decision. He simply panicked and is full of remorse," she said.

The court heard that Gordon was a single father looking after children aged nine and 11, and a 21-year-old with autism and Asperger syndrome. He was studying to become a registered carer to look after his disabled mother.

But Judge Dean Kershaw told him: "You engaged in a course of driving that was utterly dangerous.

"After stopping for the police, you realised you were going to get into trouble and instead of stopping there, you made a decision to drive off at a terrible pace at 60, 80, 100 mph.

"There were many instances that it was a very close call when you could have caused someone's death."

Gordon, of Northbrook Street, Ladywood, Birmingham, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from driving for three years.

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