A PERSISTENT offender has been jailed for two years for committing 'one of the worst pieces of dangerous driving' the Chester area has seen.
Andrew David Smythe, 35, has clearly not learned the lessons of past prison sentences and must be punished severely, said Judge Mervyn Hughes.
Police spotted Smythe driving an Austin Metro at 5.20am on June 14 in Lower Bridge Street, Chester.
'He sped off, going into Castle Street and coming past this building without braking. He was going 50mph in a 30mph limit,' prosecutor Bernard Byrne told Chester Crown Court.
'Smythe went past the Roodee and sped through red lights on Sealand Road before going through a single lane created by roadworks in contravention of traffic lights there.
'He went through Treborth and Nevin roads without slowing and shot through Western Avenue past a line of parked cars on either side of the road.
'In Blacon Hall Road he drove on to the offside footpath in an effort to control his vehicle, while in Saxon Way he went on the wrong side of the road at 50mph.
'In Wordsworth Crescent, he went the wrong way round a roundabout, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with a police car.
'Back in Blacon Avenue, he almost rammed a police dog handling vehicle.
Officers finally slowed him down using a stinger device.
'His vehicle collided with a bollard and stopped. He was later found hiding in a nearby garden under a bush,' said Mr Byrne.
Smythe was found with two credit cards. They and the car had been stolen from student Peter Gosling four days before.
He had been banned from driving and was not insured.
Police found he had also driven a Ford Escort in Western Avenue at 4pm on April 2.
Smythe admitted dangerous driving, handling, two counts of driving while disqualified and two of no insurance.
He also admitted another handling, failing to surrender and allowing a person to use his car without insurance.
These relate to a series of incidents which started on March 5 when a motorist parked his Fiat in a pub car park in Liverpool Road, Chester.
He later found it had been broken into with his electric guitar stolen, and he saw a Ford Granada speeding off.
Two days later police saw the Granada being driven at speed in Ellesmere Port. They followed it to Mill Lane, Bache, where it collided with a fence post.
Smythe ran off and was arrested in the rear yard of a nearby pub. Another man, who had been the driver, was not apprehended. In the rear of the car was the guitar.