'You could've killed someone': Driver who dodged cars at speed through Northampton is spared jail

A driver who sped away from police and weaved through traffic in Northampton at night was spared jail today yesterday (Wednesday, July 17).

Joe Kelly failed to stop for police and drove off, dodging cars at 55mph in a 30mph zone before coming to a stop and running away on foot in Far Cotton on April 27.

Northampton Crown Court

Northampton Crown Court

The 29-year-old, of The Pound, Syresham, near Brackley, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving at Northampton Crown Court.

He was given a community order of 18 months and 50 hours of unpaid work. Kelly was also given a concurrent sentence of 50 hours of unpaid work for breaching a conditional discharge given in March for theft.

Sentencing Kelly, judge Chris Bright QC said: "It's quite clear, and you recognise this, this was an extremely risky and dangerous piece of driving.

"Had you injured or even killed someone you would be going to prison for a very long time, which you do understand."

Kelly did not stop after pulling up alongside a police car at around 12.30am, and was chased for a few minutes by the officers, overtaking cars at speed and turning off his lights, the court was shown in a dashcam video.

Eventually Kelly's car stopped, the driver's door opened and the man got out but the police car tried to trap him so he did not run away.

But he managed to escape and ran off - the police officers followed him in their car before chasing on foot and arrested him.

Kelly was found not to be over the alcohol or drug limit, but Mr Bright said he panicked when asked to stop by police.

"It's clear you panicked as you did not know if you were over the limit or not, you weren't as the two breath tests proved, and you panicked about the conditional discharge," the judge told Kelly.

"You drove in very poor weather conditions, at night, in the rain, you briefly turned your lights off, driving at 50-55mph in a 30mph limit, I've seen the CCTV footage and at least two vehicles had to take avoiding action.

"You recognise you could've cause serious injury or death."