Man spared jail after driving on wrong side of road during high speed police chase in Northampton

'The fact there were no pedestrians was fortunate - had there been, the risks to them and other road users would have been even higher'

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:08 am

A man from Essex who drove on the wrong side of the road in a high speed chase with police in Northampton was spared jail yesterday (Tuesday, July 6).

Northampton Crown Court heard Owen McDonald reached up to 85mph in 30mph zones while disqualified from driving and without insurance in the Hardingstone Lane area in March.

The 23-year-old, of Long Green, Braintree, was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 21 months after previously pleading guilty at the same court.

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Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

His Honour Judge David Herbert told him: "The fact there were no pedestrians was fortunate - had there been, the risks to them and other road users would have been even higher."

On March 13, police tried to stop McDonald as he was spotted driving a BMW 1 series when he was disqualified but he did not stop.

Officers chased the father-to-be through red lights and into oncoming traffic at high speed 'for a significant period of time', Judge Herbert said, before being caught.

The judge said the defendant had not taken a previous chance to learn from his mistakes having been disqualified from driving in July last year.

But McDonald was given another opportunity to stop his offending as he had engaged well with the Probation Service and stabilised his life with his partner and part-time work.

As well as the suspended sentence, the defendant was disqualified from driving for 12 months, told to complete 80 works of unpaid work and given a curfew from 8pm to 7am.

"Do not commit further offences - there won't be more chances," Judge Herbert warned McDonald.

"The signs are good as far as you're concerned - if you put your back in to the order, it will all pass away and your curfew will be over and you can get on with your life with your new family."