A MOTORIST who panicked when he saw the police hurtled along a road at more than 85 mph.
Stuart Cummings, 44, ignored the police blue flashing lights and sirens and swung into a country lane.
He put his foot down as he drove along the narrow road towards the gold club at Padeswood near Mold at an estimated 60 mph.
The lane was popular with walkers and cyclists but fortunately he did not encounter anyone, Mold Crown Court was told yesterday.
Judge Philip Hughes, who was shown a CCTV film of the chase taken from the police car’s on-board camera, said it was a bad case of dangerous driving which deserved custody.
But he had decided to extend mercy because Cummings was a single father.
Cummings, formerly of Brymbo but now of Ash Grove in Leeswood near Mold, admitted dangerous driving and received a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
He was placed on supervision, banned from driving for three years and he was ordered to take an extended driving test.
The judge told him: “You are very lucky. You came very close to being sent straight to prison.”
He had driven at excessive speed, up to 85 mph, in road conditions that were clearly not suited for anything like that kind of speed.
In due course he turned down a lane and drove very fast leaving clouds of dust behind him.
“It was the kind of lane where you expect to see pedestrians, people taking their dogs for a walk, or cyclists.
“If you had confronted any of them it is highly likely that you would be unable to stop without colliding with them,” Judge Hughes told him.
It was aggravated by the fact that he had a passenger who was clearly distressed when police approached the vehicle.
Cummings, he said, had a bad driving record with a number of convictions for disqualified driving.
While he was prepared to accept it had been a split second decision to drive off, he had plenty of time to change his mind and stop before he did.
Prosecuting barrister Nicholas Williams said that at 8.40am on April 10, police were driving along the A541 out of Mold towards Wrexham when they saw a grey Vauxhall Insignia approaching and then suddenly, without warning, turn towards Penyffordd.
Officers were suspicious and followed but the car sped off.
The police were in a twin turbo four litre BMW and had to accelerate to 90 mph to gain on the Insignia, and lost sight of it at one stage around some bends.
Cummings reached an estimated 85 mph in the 60 mph zone – and then drove at an estimated 60 mph down a country lane towards a golf club.
Fortunately, he did not meet any vehicles coming the other way, or any pedestrians or cyclists.
Cummings pulled up suddenly near the golf club and when police approached his first response was “I’m banned.”
That was not true, his last disqualification had expired, but he had not renewed his driving licence and therefore had no insurance.
He admitted those two offences and received no separate penalty.
Sarah Badrawy, defending, said it was a poor example of dangerous driving aggravated by the fact he had a passenger and by his previous convictions.
But she asked the judge to draw back from an immediate sentence because of the fact Cummings was the single father of his teenage son.
He was the child’s only carer and if he went into custody there was a danger they would lose their accommodation.
Cummings had driven off in panic when he saw the police, said Miss Badrawy.
He did not stop but appreciated he could have done so sooner.