A DRINK-DRIVER'S 80mph bid to escape arrest ended with him crashing his car in flames in a York suburb, a court heard.

Paul Ian Hudson, 51, avoided being locked up when he appeared at York Crown Court, despite being nearly twice the legal alcohol limit and having two previous convictions for drink driving, Prosecutor David Garnett said Hudson fled from Dalton Terrace along Holgate Road and into Acomb, at times topping 80mph with a police car in pursuit and filming his every move. At one point, Hudson also drove through a red light.

After watching the police video, Recorder Nicholas Campbell QC told the court how the pursuit ended with Hudson colliding with a roundabout at the junction of York Road, Acomb, and Wetherby Road, and hitting a lamppost shortly after midnight on April 9.

"It (the collision) caused excessive damage to the car, which burst into flames and the defendant himself was injured," the judge said.

He jailed Hudson for 12 months, but suspended the sentence for two years with conditions after reading a pre-sentence and psychiatric report on him. Hudson was banned from driving for four years and must also take an extended driving test before driving alone again.

"This court has taken an exceptional course because the sentencing powers open to me for this offence are limited," said the judge.

"It seems by giving this order, there is going to be a greater protection to the public from your driving in the future whenever you are able to drive again."

Hudson, of Cranfield Place, Acomb, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving.

To avoid serving the sentence, he must do two years' supervision, a drink-drivers' rehabilitation course, 100 hours' unpaid work and 28 sessions aimed at preventing him committing domestic violence and alcohol-fuelled offending.

The judge said the conditions were imposed to tackle the problems that led to Hudson's offending.

Defence barrister Nicholas Johnson said Hudson had no previous convictions for dangerous driving and the roads were quiet at the time of the incident. The only person injured was Hudson.

Mr Johnson said Hudson had suffered a stroke and since 2000 had endured memory problems and behaved in ways he could not explain.

Mr Johnson said his client needed professional help for his problems with alcohol and counselling about his relationships.

The court heard, if Hudson went to prison, his wife would have to give up her job to look after their two children.