A Crown Court judge said it was a “miracle” that no-one was seriously injured during Abraham Fox’s harum-scarum driving antics through country villages around Scarborough, during which he shot through traffic lights, took roundabouts on the wrong side of the road and tore through residential areas at speeds of up to 100mph.
The 26-year-old, who had a young child in the back seat, was pursued by traffic officers after he came out of a McDonald’s restaurant and got into a Volkswagen Golf which he was uninsured and unlicensed to drive, York Crown Court heard.
What followed next was a breath-taking display of reckless driving which culminated in two police community support officers diving for safety and two traffic officers suffering whiplash injuries.
Prosecutor Rob Galley said that police, suspecting Fox was an illegal driver, had followed the Volkswagen towards Eastfield, where he stopped for a McDonald’s meal. They gave chase after he came out of the fast-food restaurant on his way back to the Seamer Horse Fair, where he had been staying.
But the Golf sped off in a blaze of screeching tyres and bombed down Cayton Low Road, where another police car took up the chase as the VW hit speeds of almost 90mph in a 60mph zone. It then sped up to a roundabout at Cayton Bay at 108mph and took the exit on the wrong side of the road, near a blind bend, as it shot through the village at 80mph.
The VW headed back down Cayton Low Road with the speed dial touching 100mph in a 40mph zone. It narrowly missed a car parked outside a pub near Crossgates, before turning right at keep-left bollards at about 90mph and going the wrong way around a roundabout.
Fox overtook two vehicles - one of which was a police car - on the A64, then sped on to the Dunslow Road junction at double the speed limit and back onto Cayton Low Road where two police cars were lying in wait.
“He avoided them by travelling through (traffic) lights on amber, then approached the Crossgates roundabout at 80mph (in a 40mph zone),” added Mr Galley.
Fox overtook another vehicle as he came out of the roundabout at over 80mph and approached the travellers’ site in Seamer. He slammed on the brakes and the Golf veered into the middle of the road, at which point the pursuing police car struck the back of the vehicle, shunting it onto a right-hand verge where it smashed into an unmarked police car.
“Two officers had to jump quickly out of the way to avoid being hit,” said Mr Galley.
“He (Fox) was trying to start the car again. Police were anxious to stop him getting onto the site where the horse fair was.”
Fox tried to run off, but officers stopped him in his tracks and found a young child in the back seat. The child, who was visibly “distressed”, was not strapped to a seat belt.
Mr Galley said two police officers suffered whiplash in the collision with the back of the Golf. The unmarked police car which was parked on the verge was a write-off after being struck by the Volkswagen.
Fox, of Rowanwood Gardens, Bradford, was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance. He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Monday.
The court heard that Fox - who also needed medical treatment following the incident on July 12 - had a long record for serious driving matters including dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident. He had also racked up several burglary convictions.
At the time of the police chase, he had only been out of prison six months following a four-year jail sentence for house break-ins.
Defence barrister Ian Hudson said that Fox, who works as a sandblaster, had gone to the Seamer Horse Fair with friends and while there, he made the “foolish” decision to borrow a friend’s car to go to McDonald’s.
Jailing Fox for 17 months, Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told him: “You did everything you could to evade capture, driving at ridiculous speeds and (driving) dangerously, over many miles. It’s a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt.”
Fox was also given a four-year driving ban.