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Serial road menace walks free from court

PUBLISHED: 15:19 07 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

HE hit speeds of almost 100mph, drove the wrong way round a busy roundabout and ploughed into a car, but today learner driver John Smith walked free from court. Recorder Nicholas Hamblen QC refused to jail the Ipswich 18-year-old despite a string of motoring offences.

HE hit speeds of almost 100mph, drove the wrong way round a busy roundabout and ploughed into a car, but today learner driver John Smith walked free from court.

Recorder Nicholas Hamblen QC refused to jail the Ipswich 18-year-old despite a string of motoring offences.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Smith, from West Meadows, Ipswich, hit speeds of 95mph in the 40mph stretch on the busy old Felixstowe road (A1156) heading into Ipswich.

Ignoring police sirens and heavy traffic, Smith sped away from officers in a stolen Vauxhall Astra– despite blowing two tyres.

He narrowly missed two articulated lorries on the Seven Hills interchange before mounting the verge.

He then drove the wrong way along the A1156 at speeds close to 100 mph.

He overtook queuing traffic at the Suffolk Showground roundabout on the wrong side of the road before ploughing into a Rover car on the roundabout.

After blowing two tyres during the chase, he swerved into the verge on his wheel rims.

Recorder Nicholas Hamblen described the offence as "a serious matter" and admitted Smith had "put members of the public in great danger".

Yet, Smith was spared a jail sentence - despite a string of other offences committed since the chase happened.

FULL STORY IN TONIGHT'S EVENING STAR

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