Banned Rowley Regis driver is jailed after he led police on a high speed chase
A banned motorist with nine previous convictions for driving while disqualified led police on a high speed chase on a summer afternoon that ended when he ploughed into another car.
Lance Smith was jailed by a judge who told him: "You have an appalling record."
A court heard how pedestrians were put in danger by Smith, with many of them being forced to dive for cover.
Other motorists also had to take evasive action as the daytime car chase developed.
Smith sped off towards Quarry Bank after spotting an unmarked police car while travelling through Cradley Heath around 4pm on August 18, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
The 27-year-old refused to stop and raced down residential streets at up to 70mph in a 30 limit in an alarming effort to shake off his pursuers, said Mrs Sati Ruck, prosecuting.
He went through a a red traffic light, forced other motorists to swerve out of the way and made pedestrians jump for safety by mounting the footpath, continued the prosecutor.
A woman trying to cross the road had to take evasive action before Smith swerved to avoid a male pedestrian during the three minute chase.
He lost control and cannoned into the side of another car at a junction before fleeing on foot but was quickly detained and later admitted he could have killed somebody. Fortunately nobody was hurt.
Mr Jamie Scott, defending, said Smith panicked after spotting the unmarked police car and tried to get away because he knew he would end up in prison if caught.
The lawyer continued: "Motor vehicles are his Achilles heel. Until now he has been unable to resist getting behind the wheel of vehicles when disqualified from driving but he does have a degree of talent as a mechanic."
Smith, from Uplands Avenue, Rowley Regis, had been repairing the car on a driveway when asked to move it and had foolishly taken the controls himself, it was said.
He admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
He was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for four years on release from custody by Recorder Robert Spencer-Bernard who told him: "You have an appalling record."