A DRIVER who fled from police at three times the speed limit through York during the spring lockdown has been jailed.

Uninsured Matthew John Ambler, 31, hit 60 mph in a 20mph zone, shunted one car into two more, and sped over speed bumps down narrow roads lined with parked vehicles, said Matthew Collins, prosecuting.

Police had to give up the pursuit because it was too dangerous for them to continue.

Following his arrest, he refused to give samples so police could see if he had been drink or drug driving.

“I cannot avoid a prison sentence for driving like this just outside York city centre,” Judge Simon Hickey said at York Crown Court.

He added it was likely Ambler was drink or drug driving and he was finishing a round trip of at least 40 miles to Leeds and back when police first spotted him.

Ambler, of George Street, central York, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failure to provide a sample and driving without insurance. He was jailed for 12 months, banned from driving from two years and ordered to take an extended driving test before driving unsupervised in the future.

His barrister Victoria Smith-Swain said that after the chase a psychiatrist had diagnosed that Ambler had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ambler had shown poor decision making skills and hadn’t thought through the consequences of his actions.

Mr Collins said Ambler had hassled his aunt into giving him the keys to her car.

Police first realised something was amiss because he was driving very fast along Tadcaster Road towards the city centre on Sunday, April 5, at 9pm. He refused to pull over and turned right into Scarcroft Road.

As he turned into Thorpe Street, he crashed into a parked car, damaging both vehicles and shunting the other into two more cars.

Ambler drove on and after police abandoned the pursuit, abandoned the car.

Ms Smith-Swain said Ambler had told her he had been off cocaine for six months and off cannabis for a month and was now drug free.

He had been helping an elderly relative with her shopping and other needs.