No jail for driver who span out of control during Telford police chase

A young driver who was pursued by police at speed down several residential roads and through red lights before being caught with a knife has been banned from driving for a year.

Joshua Orr, 22, was spotted by patrolling police at 11pm on June 30, driving a car with no visible front registration plate in Holyhead Road, Wellington. When they swung around to follow him, he sped off down the road.

He led them on a chase lasting about eight minutes down Haybridge Road onto Newgate Avenue and Hadley Park Road, veering onto the wrong side of the road and skipping red lights.

They arrived at Woodpecker Close, where Orr span out of control.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard from prosecutor Miss Sophie Murray: "Due to the speed the vehicle was travelling at, the driver lost control, span the car and came to a stop.

"As the officers approached in their patrol car, the defendant drove off again."

Orr did not get far and came to a final stop in Okehampton Road.

The officers went to search him, and he told them that they would find a knife on him. They did find a 2.5inch blade which he used for work.

He made a full confession to police later, and in September he was convicted at Telford Magistrates Court of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and possessing a knife in a public place.

Lockdown

The court heard that Orr had no previous convictions, and his representative Mr Ranjit Sandhu pointed out that at the time of the offence the country was still in coronavirus lockdown, so there were few people about at the time.

Mr Sandhu said: "The defendant has taken full responsibility for his actions. When he was arrested he apologised for his driving, he informed the police officers before being searched that he had a knife.

"The knife was part of his kit for work purposes."

He said that when he was spotted that night, he was near an address he had been verbally warned to stay away from by police.

Recorder John Freeman told Orr that he appeared to be a normally "well-behaved young man" but that on the night of the offending it was evident that he "lost his head".

He said that driving on the wrong side of the road was dangerous and could have had more serious consequences.

Tying the offences together, the recorder handed down two concurrent sentences of three months in jail, both suspended for a year.

He also imposed a year's driving ban and a requirement for Orr to complete an extended driving test if he intends to qualify again.

Orr, of Copperfield Drive in Muxton, was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £340.

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