A DRIVER who led police on a high-speed car chase through Oxford has been spared jail.
Prosecutors during the trial of Connor Buckley said that his driving was so bad that the officer who was pursuing him had to call off the chase for fears of other people’s safety.
The 22-year-old of Nuffield Close, Bicester, had denied one count of dangerous driving but jurors at Oxford Crown Court found him guilty last month.
The jury was told how he had narrowly avoided hitting a pedestrian who had to dive out of the way of the Ford Mondeo during the chase on March 17 last year.
Matthew Stansfield was uniformed in a police car at the junction of Five Mile Drive and Banbury Road, just north of the ring road in Cutteslowe, at about 1.25am when he spotted the silver Ford Mondeo.
From the witness box PC Stansfield said his attention was drawn to the car ‘because of its speed’ which he said was over the 30mph limit.
After slowing to about 5mph on Banbury Road, the car suddenly sped off and PC Stansfield chased after him.
As the high speed chase continued, jurors were told, the car approached a Pelican crossing with a pedestrian stepping out on to the road.
They were forced to ‘jump’ back on to the pavement to avoid being hit.
In mitigation at his sentencing hearing yesterday, defence barrister Claire Fraser said Buckley had since obeyed his curfew during proceedings and was in full-time employment.
Judge Ian Pringle QC said that the offence ‘crosses the custody threshold’ but said he could suspend his sentence and order unpaid work instead.
Buckley was handed a six-month jail term, suspended for two years and must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
He must also pay a victim surcharge and was disqualified from driving for two years.