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Driver nearly caused Spalding fatal accident

A driver who forced a lorry off the road during a four minute police chase was given a suspended jail sentence.

Spencer Dennis (22) sped off after an officer spotted his black Audi A3 on the A16 near Spalding.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Dennis "panicked" because there was cannabis in his vehicle and he wrongly believed he was the subject of an outstanding warrant.

Lincoln Crown Court (50989446)
Lincoln Crown Court (50989446)

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said the officer put on his lights and tried to stop the Audi after Dennis pulled off the A16 into Low Road.

Mr Howes told the court Dennis initially slowed down but then doubled back and drove off at speed.

The officer pursued Dennis as he overtook a people carrier on a blind summit and caused two cyclists to take evasive action, the court was told.

"In the view of the officer he was "chancing it", Mr Howes added.

The court heard Dennis then headed towards the McDonald's roundabout where he came up quickly behind a former driving instructor.

"That driver described being frightened out of his life as the vehicle came from nowhere," Mr Howes told the court.

A lorry coming in the opposite direction was then forced to mount the pavement as Dennis overtook the car.

Dennis eventually fled from the Audi after driving down a no through road and escaped from the officer after a struggle.

He was caught 200 metres away from the Audi after crossing a river when other police officers arrived at the scene.

Dennis, of London Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, made no comment during interview but later admitted offences of dangerous driving and driving without insurance following the pursuit on November 5 last year.

James Smith-Wilds, mitigating, said Dennis simply panicked because of the cannabis in his car and his belief that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Mr Smith-Wilds told the court Dennis did not have a bad record and was trying to set up a business around his love of dogs.

Dennis was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and must complete 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was also made the subject of a three month night time curfew between 7pm and 7am, banned from driving for two years and must take an extended retest.

Passing sentence, Judge John Pini QC told Dennis: "Although this is not the worst case of dangerous driving, make no mistake, you could have killed someone.

"You put the police in danger and only narrowly avoided a head-on crash with an HGV."

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