A DANGEROUS driver who crashed as he tried to shake off police has been banned from the roads and described as an idiot by a Judge.
James Burgess passed an unmarked police car on the M5 at about 100 mph and then tried to avoid being stopped by swerving violently off the A38 into the village of Kennford.
He carried on at well over the 30 mph speed limit for only a few hundred metres before he lost control and hit a van which was coming in the other direction.
Dashcam from the pursuing police car showed Burgess’s Mini slewed across the road after it also collided with a van parked on the nearside of the narrow village street.
Burgess, 22, of Exeter Road, Chudleigh, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years, and curfewed for four months by Judge Stephen Climie at Exeter Crown Court.
He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to the driver of the other car, do 200 hours unpaid community work and was disqualified for two and a half years with and extended retest.
The Judge told him: ‘You could have killed a child, going down the road like that.
‘I know that road very well and I know how serious this was.
‘If this had been a case of death by dangerous, which purely by chance it isn’t, the starting point would be 12 years.
‘That is the risk at which you put yourself, but frankly I don’t really care about that.
‘What I do care about is the safety of the public who may have been out on the road walking around and innocent children in school and others drivers whose lives were put at risk by a young idiot.’
Mr Michael Green, prosecuting, played footage from the police car’s dashcam taken on September 16 last year showed Burgess’s light coloured Mini passing it at high speed, which the crew estimated at 100 mph.
He appeared to slow down and pull over but then veered off violently to the left into the turning into Kennford, where the police car illuminated its lights and switched on its siren.
The footage showed the Mini speeding through the village until it crashed into a stationary van and rebounding into the path of a black van which suffered serious damage and minor injury to the driver. Burgess apologised to police at the scene.
Mr Damian Hayes, defending, said Burgess realised there was a police car behind and panicked.
He turned into Kennford where he crashed, suffering a head injury that required stitches in his temple.
He works for a family cleaning and gardening firm and has been working all around the region, meaning he will be inconvenienced seriously by any driving ban. He also works long hours, so will be hit hard by the curfew.