‘A DANGER to yourself and other road users’ – that is what a man who led police on a high-speed chase through villages near Rugby was told as a judge sentenced him to prison.
Callum Painter sped away from police after being seen riding an off-road motorbike on the M1 without a helmet.
Painter, 23, who finally stopped and put his hands up in surrender, had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Painter, of Filey Road, Wolverhampton, was jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for three years and seven months.
Prosecutor Sally Cairns said that on the afternoon of Saturday August 26, Painter was with friends in a Transit van when it broke down on the M1 near Lutterworth.
In the back of the Transit they had off-road motorbikes, so Painter got one of them out – but was spotted by the police riding it without a helmet on the motorway.
When officers tried to stop him, he sped away, leaving the motorway at junction 20 and heading towards Rugby along the A426 in a concerted attempt to get away.
He turned into Lutterworth Road, heading towards Churchover, and then into narrow Coton Road, where a second police car tried to block him in.
But he got past it on the unregistered motocross bike and headed back onto the A426 where a third police car joined the pursuit with its blue lights and siren on.
Painter overtook two other vehicles at 60mph before going round the Gibbet Lane island, past the third exit and onto the A5 in the offside carriageway, but fortunately there was no oncoming traffic.
He pulled into a layby, but rather than stopping, he did a u-turn and headed back to the island before turning into Gibbet Lane where he took three blind bends on the off-side of the road.
He then sped through the centre of Shawell village at 50mph and accelerated further before slowing down, putting his hands up and stopping.
Mrs Cairns added that Painter had previous convictions for having no insurance and for driving while disqualified, and in July he had been banned for 12 months.
Matthew Brook, defending, said: “His actions that day are in stark contrast to the type of person he normally is. He is a well-liked and respected young man.”
Mr Brook said Painter lives with his mother and helps to care for her because of her health problems, and works through an agency.
And he pointed out the police had been willing to return the motorbike to Painter, but he decided he did not want it back.
Jailing Painter, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “You are a disqualified driver, and the police came on the scene. You ought to have got off and took what was coming to you, but you set off and drove dangerously for about two-and-a-half miles.
“You went the wrong way off the exit from a roundabout and round blind bends on the off-side of the road.
“Had anyone been coming the other way in a car, there would likely have been serious injury, not only to you, but to others.
“This was the middle of the day when people were likely to be about. You were a danger to yourself and a danger to other road-users.”
Painter was also ordered to take an extended re-test before he is allowed to have his licence back at the end of the period of disqualification.