Walsall plasterer who led police on four-mile high speed chase spared jail
A 22-year-old plasterer who led police on a four-mile high speed chase has been spared jail for the sake of his business.
Mitchell Clarke, who had a clean driving licence and two apprentices helping him to build up his work, was pulled over by officers in Walsall Street, Willenhall at 9.40pm on July 27 2018, a judge heard.
But after pausing momentarily the defendant accelerated into the distance at the start of a six-minute pursuit that followed a circular route around Willenhall during which he reached speeds about 100mph in a 50 limit and 75mph in a 30-zone before it ended in a cul-de-sac, Mr Philip Brunt, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Clarke also went the wrong way round a traffic island and drove through two sets of red lights, continued the prosecutor who added: "This was a sustained piece of dangerous driving and it was great good fortune that nobody was injured."
Mr Antoine Muller, defending, said: "Why this young man sought to avoid the police remains a mystery.
"He has a good work ethic and has set up a plastering business which now employs two apprentices.
"Following this offence he will need to employ a driver and when he is free to drive again his insurance costs will be eye-watering which will be a significant punishment for him."
The defendant denied being behind the wheel of the car at the time of the chase but was convicted by a jury.
He has never explained why he ignored the police order to stop.
Recorder Christopher Millington QC said: “I am not going to speculate on the reason.
"You created significant danger to other road users by deliberately disobeying the rules of the road while reaching up to 100mph in an area covered by a 50mph speed limit.
“I believe you will not appear before a court again.
"You have built a fledging, but good, business which would be ended by an immediate term of imprisonment.”
Clarke, from Attlee Road, Walsall was given a nine month prison sentence suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid work and a 12-month driving ban.
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