A DRIVER who sped at 55mph through a residential York street “full of children” as he tried to escape police has been jailed.

Joshua Anthony Strickland, 26, was trying to get away from a police car as he drove through Burton Green in Clifton, said Elizabeth Noble, prosecuting.

In addition to the children, there were parked cars and police had to hold back on safety grounds.

Strickland had been drinking and had diazepam in his system, tests later revealed.

He crashed against the roundabout at the end of the street and was arrested, Ms Noble told York Crown Court.

Jailing Strickland for six months, the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, said: “A car is probably one of the most dangerous weapons that exists.

“They are capable of hitting a four-year-old 50 yards down the road and smashing a four-year-old’s skull.

“It is lucky that didn’t happen because there were children out playing whilst you were hurtling through a built up area. There is no alternative (to custody) in order to protect lives.”

Strickland, of Rowntree Avenue, Clifton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drug driving.

In addition to the jail term, he was banned from driving for 15 months and ordered to take an extended driving test before driving unsupervised again.

Ms Noble said Burton Green was “full of children” during the police chase at 5.30pm on May 5 because it was a fine day.

“(The street) has a piece of grass and therefore lots of families and children were out,” she said.

For Strickland, Caroline Abraham said he had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and may have bipolar disorder and psychosis related to his drug taking.

He had used drugs since he was 16 and was starting to get help.

Ms Noble said police were looking for Strickland in connection with a disturbance. They spotted him in a silver Corsa at 5.30pm. He drove round them and accelerated away with tyres screeching.