A man from Portslade has been jailed for dangerous driving by a judge at Hove Crown court today (Monday 18 April).
Devon Sommerford, 24, a roofer, of Edgehill Way, Portslade, crashed into a hedge after speeding through Horsham at up to 60mph in a 30mph zone.
Sommerford also drove the wrong way round a roundabout, through a red light and on the wrong side of a road as he tried to speed away from officers from Sussex Police.
Before the chase, which lasted a few minutes and just over a mile, Sommerford had flashed his headlights at an unmarked police car as he tried to get past.
As he pulled alongside the car, he realised that the people inside it were wearing police uniforms. He sped off.
Matthew Heywood, prosecuting, said that when Sommerford crashed, he ran off. He was found hiding in a bush near by.
He said: “I’m not the driver. It’s not stolen.”
The chase took place just after 2am on Wednesday 2 November last year.
He was convicted in his absence by Crawley magistrates and brought to the crown court in custody to be sentenced. In mitigation, his barrister Kate Richmond said that he now accepted that he had been driving, after initially having tried to deny it.
She said that he was not over the limit for drink or drugs and had not had any alcohol.
But Mr Heywood said that the defendant had 17 convictions for 32 offences over eight years and was in breach of a suspended sentence for harassment.
Judge Guy Anthony said: “This was a bad piece of driving. Fortunately no was injured. Fortunately there was not much serious damage.”
Sommerford was jailed for 12 months for dangerous driving, having no insurance and in breach of his provisional licence. He was also jailed for four weeks consecutively for breach the terms of his suspended sentence.
He has been banned from driving for two years from the date of his release from prison.
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