A MAN could have caused “devastation” when he grabbed the steering wheel from his mother and tried to kill her on the A64 near York.

Peter Andrew Senior, 29, told police he intended to crash his mother Maureen Allen’s car into a roadside ditch and kill her or put her into intensive care, York Crown Court heard.

When Ms Allen managed to bring the car to a halt in a lay-by, he got out and – high on amphetamine and in a suicidal mood – walked towards oncoming traffic just before the afternoon rush hour one day last November.

Ms Allen phoned police and they arrested Senior after setting up a rolling road block to prevent other cars from running him down, said Howard Shaw, prosecuting.

She told police he may have substituted the amphetamine for the medication he should have taken for his mental health problems. Senior has now been jailed indefinitely.

Det Con Tracey Lumb, of North Yorkshire Police, said outside court: “It is only by sheer good fortune that nobody was killed or seriously injured in this incident. It was an extremely reckless act which put not only his mother at risk but also other motorists on the road at the time and Peter Senior himself.

“He is lucky that he wasn’t in court facing more serious charges. Hopefully he will spend his time in prison reflecting on his actions and the devastation they could have caused to his mother, the general public and himself.”

Senior, of Rydal Close in Bury, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to attempted grievous bodily harm with intent to his mother. He was on a suspended sentence at the time for hitting a young woman in Bath, and had a previous conviction for trying to strangle his then girlfriend.

Passing an indefinite sentence for public protection, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Senior: “You are an extremely dangerous man. You present a danger very much to yourself, but in particular to those who are close to you, members of your family and those with whom you form intimate relationships.”

Senior must serve 893 days (just over two years and five months) before he can apply for parole. He has been in custody since his arrest on November 2 last year.

For Senior, Caroline Addy said he had acted on the spur of the moment and he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself had he harmed his mother. He had had a difficult background which he coped with by taking drugs. He also had personality disorders.

He had hesitated very slightly during the incident and that gave his mother the chance to control the car.