'Idiotic' driver in 10-mile 100mph police chase spared jail
A self confessed "idiotic" driver, who ignored a passenger's pleas to slow down while leading police on a 10-mile 100 mph chase, has been spared jail.
Simon Hanson had bought a Ford Mondeo three days earlier and was due to pay its insurance cover in four days time when a friend asked for help from him, a judge heard.
The 36-year-old married man with a 16-year-old son and of previous good character, made a "poor decision" and decided to drive the car to find out what was wrong with his pal.
A police patrol ordered the defendant to stop after spotting him at the wheel of the £325 Mondeo in Birchfield Lane, Oldbury around midnight on May 12, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Hanson panicked because he had no insurance cover and accelerated into the distance at the start of the 15 minute pursuit.
He hit speeds of up to 70 mph on residential roads with 20 and 30mph limits, drove through three red lights and went the wrong way round a traffic island before police cars managed to "usher" him onto the M5 at the Oldbury junction, said Mr Patrick Sullivan, prosecuting.
Hanson reached speeds up to 100mph in a bid to outrun his pursuers but was finally boxed in by police cars to ensure he went over a Stinger laid by colleagues which brought the Mondeo to a standstill after bursting at least one of its tyres, continued the prosecutor.
Hanson, of Sandford Drive, Rowley Regis confessed to officers that his driving had been "idiotic" amid repeated warnings from his passenger to slow down, the court heard.
Mr Harinderpal Dhami, defending, said: "He made a poor decision to put the needs and welfare of his friend before everything else and panicked when ordered to stop because he had no insurance.
"He has learnt a salutary lesson and has returned to being what he was before the incident - a law abiding family man," continued the lawyer who also revealed his client was currently being treated for mental health issues.
Hanson pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and having no insurance. He was given an eight month jail term suspended for 12 months with a three month night time curfew and a three year driving ban.
Judge James Burbidge QC told him: "Around midnight on May 12 you decided to drive to see a friend in need of assistance knowing that you were not insured to drive the Ford Mondeo you had just bought.
"You failed to stop when asked to by the police prompting a ten mile pursuit during which you drove at speeds up to 100mph until a Stinger was successfully deployed and brought you to a standstill.
"You described your own driving as idiotic and are now engaging with the community mental health team. Immediate custody may derail the good work they are doing with you."
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