Car chase veteran jailed

A FORMER soldier who took his friend's car while drunk and led police on a high speed chase through a built-up area before crashing into another motorist has been jailed for nine months.

Christian Wilson, aged 23, was pursued by police after speeding off when they attempted to stop him for driving without any lights on along the A6135 Birley Moor Road, Hackenthorpe.

He drove at up to 60 mph on the road, which has a 30 mph speed limit, in heavy rain - when he was two-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit.

Sheffield Crown Court heard officers called off the chase when his speed "increased a great deal" after crossing the tram tracks at the junction with Birley Lane and Sheffield Road - because they felt the wet conditions were "too dangerous" to continue.

Wilson then continued towards Mosborough along Moor Valley Road, where he ended up on the wrong side of the road and crashed into a Seat car driven by Sophie Gibbot.

Neither Wilson or Ms Gibbott was hurt but the car Wilson had been driving - which belonged to his friend Rhys Parkin - was written off. Officers arrested Wilson and breathalysed him.

He made "full admissions" when he was interviewed.

Wilson, of Marrison Drive, Killamarsh, accepted he would be jailed but his barrister argued for a sentence of under 14 months as he wanted to rejoin the Army. He had been discharged four years ago after suffering from a medical condition, and a longer sentence would have disqualified him from joining up again.

Wilson, currently working for a furniture company, admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. He had previous convictions for twice taking vehicles without consent, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

Sentencing, The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Alan Goldsack QC, said: "You are already acquiring a substantial criminal record - substantially for vehicle-related crime which includes previous incidents of taking cars without the owner's consent. In one of them, the car ended up wrapped around a lamppost.

"Instead of stopping when asked, you set off at hugely excessive speeds in a built-up area. The incident came to an end when there was a collision. Fortunately, there were no injuries."

Wilson was also given a three-year driving ban.

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