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Motorist jailed for driving on pavement during police chase
THIS was the moment pedestrians had to dive out of the way of a motorist, who was driving on a Whitby pavement.
Jeffrey Richard O’Connell, aged 30, of Saltersgill Avenue, Middlesbrough, rammed into a police car before fleeing down a one-way street when officers tried to stop the silver Audi he was driving, at about 8.30pm on March 16.
In an effort to evade the police, he did a three-point turn then mounted the pavement and drove in the wrong direction down Pier Road, forcing 15 people to jump out of the way.
During the incident, he also smashed into a seating area outside Harry’s Bar, causing £2,000 worth of damage. The Audi was later found abandoned on nearby John Street.
Forensic examinations of the vehicle found O’Connell’s DNA, and he was later arrested and charged with dangerous driving, driving without a licence, driving with no insurance and failing to stop for police.
He pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at York Crown Court on Monday.
He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Traffic Constable Paul Moon, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, was involved in the pursuit and led the investigation.
He said: “O’Connell is extremely fortunate that he didn’t kill someone and isn’t facing a much longer prison sentence. What he did was completely reckless and he showed a blatant disregard for the safety of the general public.
“Numerous people had to dive out of his way to avoid being seriously hurt and I am glad that O’Connell has now been punished for his dangerous actions.”