Driver who mounted pavements in 110mph chase through Northampton town centre jailed

Christopher Johnson was pulled over by police for driving an uninsured vehicle. He responded by leading them on a 35-minute high-speed car chase.
Christopher Johnson was pulled over by police for driving an uninsured vehicle. He responded by leading them on a 35-minute high-speed car chase.

A man who led police on a 35-minute car chase through the streets of Northampton reaching speeds of 110 mph has been jailed.

Christopher Johnson, 26, of no fixed abode, dodged police stinger traps and mounted pavements as he tried to escape squad cars in March.

Christopher Johnson reached 110mph as he tried to escape police on Grafton Street.

Christopher Johnson reached 110mph as he tried to escape police on Grafton Street.

But the pursuit, which saw Johnson drive the wrong way around roundabouts and speed through red lights, started because officers spotted he was driving an uninsured car.

At Johnson's sentencing at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (18 May), judge Michael Fowler said: "This is as serious a case of dangerous driving as you can get."

In March this year, Johnson - who was driving a red Ford Festiva - sped off when an unmarked police car tried to pull him over in Churchill Avenue, Boothville.

What followed was a 35-minute high-speed chase involving multiple squad cars as Johnson drove back and forth across Northampton and through town centre's crowded business streets.

The chase sped through Wellingborough Road, Gold Street, Parkland Avenue, the A428, the A45 and Wilby Way in a route crossing back and forth across Northampton.

The chase sped through Wellingborough Road, Gold Street, Parkland Avenue, the A428, the A45 and Wilby Way in a route crossing back and forth across Northampton.

In the pursuit, Johnson sped at 110mph on a 30mph street, drove in the centre of roads to force other drivers out of this way and clipped three cars.

Police were able to stop Johnson's rampage by bursting his tyres with a stinger trap, before using three squad cars to box him in.

He was disqualified from driving at the time - and also had a front-seat passenger for the entire chase.

Judge Fowler said: "This was an exceptionally dangerous offence, not just to the person in your car but to the members of the public on those crowded roads that afternoon."

He was handed a 12-month sentence and disqualified from driving for another 18 months. Johnson's defence barrister told the court his client was engaging support services for his mental health.