A LEARNER driver who sped at 70 mph through 20mph city streets is off the roads for three years.

Adam Stephen Knights, 22, was trying to flee from police after they saw his poor driving leaving the BP service station on Lawrence Road, York, said Simon Waley.

The chase ended when he and his passenger leapt from the car as it was still moving in Moore Avenue, and ran off.

One of the wheels had a thin, spare tyre on it and and Knights was uninsured, York Crown Court heard.

Knights, of Lotherington Mews, Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving without insurance and without a licence, and was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months on condition he does 200 hours’ unpaid work and ten days’ rehabilitative activities.

“You had absolutely no right to be behind the wheel of the car, still less the right to drive in the way I have seen on the video,” Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Knights after watching a police recording of the chase.

Knights was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended driving test before driving unsupervised again.

“Given you have never passed a test at all, that may be a tall order,” the judge told him.

The judge said normally those who drove at 70 mph through a 20 mph zone and then abandoned the car while it was moving would be jailed. But Knights’ family responsibilities meant others close to him would be “in great difficulty” if he was locked up.

Victoria Smith-Swain, for Knights, did not give any mitigation after the judge indicated the type of sentence he would pass.

Mr Waley said police were at the garage on August 22 when they saw Knights pull out of it.

His driving concerned them so much, they pursued him. When Knights realised they were following him, he accelerated away, reaching 70 mph as he drove along Alcuin Avenue, Tang Hall Lane, Osbaldwick Lane and into Moore Avenue.