A YORK judge called the two-year maximum sentence for dangerous driving "wholly inadequate" as he dealt with a banned motorist who drove at 120 mph on the A64 on a holiday afternoon.

During a high speed police chase that began on the Seamer by-pass and finished in Weaverthorpe, Mark Andrew Holden forced other cars to stop when he did a U-turn, overtook heavy traffic on the wrong side of the road and when his view ahead was obstructed, and made a heavy goods vehicle take evasive action, said Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting at York Crown Court.

Holden drove at 120 mph on the Seamer by-pass and 110 mph westward along the A64 shortly before 3pm on Thursday August 17. Police lost sight of him, but found him and the car after a search in Weaverthorpe. He fled on foot and was arrested after a chase through gardens and fields.

At the time he was wanted on warrant after failing to attend his trial for other motoring offences committed in February.

Judge Paul Worsley QC said: “I hope Parliament will revisit the maximum sentence for dangerous driving. Two years unduly ties the courts’ hands.

“In my judgement, that maximum sentence is wholly inadequate to deal with offences of really bad driving which put people’s lives at risk.”

The judge told Holden: “What you did on August 17 could have killed you and more pertinently, could have killed or seriously injured other people. You were sober and presumably well aware of what you were doing.”

He had to reduce Holden's sentence by a third because the 20-year-old pleaded guilty at the first court hearing.

Holden, of St John’s Road, Scarborough, was jailed for 20 and a half months, consecutive to a ten-week sentence he is currently serving failing to attend his trial and breaching a community order, and banned from driving for four years.

He admitted dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance and obstructing a police officer by giving a false name on August 17.

Scarborough magistrates convicted him in his absence in July of driving after his licence had been revoked for getting six penalty points as a learner driver, careless driving, driving without insurance, failure to undergo a test to see if he had taken drink or drugs and disobeying a no right turn sign on February 6.

For Holden, Graham Parkin said he had driven off at speed on August 17 because he was driving a friend’s car and didn’t want it to be impounded.

“He accelerated and as they (the police) accelerated quite legally, he then accelerated quite illegally to try and keep away from the police,” he said.

Once he had calmed down, he accepted what he had done was wrong.