A MOTORIST who sped off from a police car because he “panicked” has been ordered to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work.
Martin Feather (29) of St Leonard’s Lane, Eastwood, drove on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic while trying to escape the police.
He was sentenced at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
A police officer spotted Feather on the evening of February 17 failing to give way at a junction and turned on his blue lights, Mr David Marshall, prosecuting, told the court.
Feather accelerated away on Herringthorpe Valley Road, Herringthorpe, in his Vauxhall Astra and made no attempt to stop.
“He went on to the opposite side of the road, driving towards oncoming traffic, then turned left onto Doncaster Road,” said Mr Marshall.
“Because of the speed at which he took the corner, he collided with a yellow bollard and damaged the vehicle, namely the wheel arch trim.”
Feather then braked so hard that the police car hit the driver’s door.
“The officer described the vehicle as being driven at excessive speed,” said Mr Marshall.
The officer who arrested Feather searched him and found a mobile phone, around £1,000 cash, cocaine and cannabis.
Feather told police that he had borrowed a friend’s car to fetch cannabis and cocaine and thought he was being the sensible one because everyone else had drunk alcohol, Mr Marshall told the court.
“He told them that because he had been banned before he panicked and drove off at speed,” he said.
“He said it was stupid, he should have stopped straight away, but he panicked.”
Feather had previously been banned from driving for 12 months in 2015 for a drug-driving offence.
He admitted driving dangerously and without insurance, possession of cannabis and cocaine and failing to stop for a police officer, at an earlier hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Saleh Alnoud, mitigating, said Feather was ashamed of what he had done.
He said: “It’s unfortunate for him to find himself in this position because since his last conviction in 2015 he has been doing very well.”
Mr Alnoud said the distance Feather drove was relatively short and no-one was injured as a result of it.
Chairman of the Bench, Mr Paul Bristow, said dangerous driving was serious enough to earn a custodial sentence.
However, he spared Feather jail because he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
Instead, he ordered Feather to complete 15 days’ rehabilitation and 250 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months for the dangerous driving offence.
He was also ordered to pay £175 costs.
There was no separate penalty for the other four offences.