Dangerous driver William Johnson jailed for 10 months
DANGEROUS driver William Johnson has been jailed for 10 months for speeding through the streets at up to 119 miles an hour in icy conditions trying to escape police.
Judge William Hart told the 23-year-old at Gloucester Crown Court it had been "a disaster waiting to happen".
"You put your passengers' lives and those of the pursuing police officers at risk and you are lucky that no one was hurt or killed," he said.
"The only sentence I can impose for this sort of driving is one of immediate custody."
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
An earlier hearing had been told that Johnson, of Read Way, Bishop's Cleeve, even turned off the lights on his Volvo as he tried to get away from police.
Video footage taken from the pursuing police cars was shown during the trial – which ended with him being convicted of dangerous driving.
The judge said he was mystified why he had driven so fast that even a high performance BMW did not catch up with him.
And he was equally concerned that Johnson had turned off his lights, making himself invisible to other road users on a dark, wintry and treacherous night.
Johnson had accepted in evidence that his driving was careless but denied that it amounted to dangerous driving in law.
The jury took only a short time to find him guilty.
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, told the court that officers in a patrol car on the A46 at Bentham saw the Volvo pass them and suspected it may not be insured.
They followed and signalled Johnson to stop but he took off at speed and a chase ensued on the A46, the A417 at Birdlip and other local roads.
At one stage, near the Air Balloon pub, Johnson turned in the road and was facing in the opposite direction.
He was seen to switch off his car lights but in the end he did stop and was arrested.
Johnson insisted to police that he had kept his car under control despite the speeds he reached.
He said the reason he had turned in the road was because he had seen a patch of ice and wanted to avoid it.
Today, the court was told that Johnson had six points on his licence at the time from a previous offence.
In mitigation, Lloyd Jenkins told the court it had been prolonged, aggressive driving and only by the grace of God had there been no collision or injury.
At the time, Johnson's job depended on his driving licence he said, but he had since lost that position.
However, he has the offer of another job depending on the outcome of the hearing.
In addition to the 10-month custodial sentence, Johnson was banned from driving for two years and will have to take an extended driving test before he drives again.