Learner driver led police on 70mph chase just before driving test
Michael Gough, 24, a plant fitter from Quedgeley, Gloucester "panicked" when police pulled him over as he made his way to the local test centre.
Officers pulled Mr Gough's vehicle over while hunting for a stolen BMW. After scanning the number plates, officers realised they belonged to Mr Gough's father's Fiat. There was no explanation for the plate swap.
Dad-of-one Gough stopped when flagged down, but raced off when an officer told him to open the door.
He then jumped red lights, sped at 70mph through a variety of 30mph zones and travelled the wrong way up the road before slamming into a parked car.
He leapt out of the BMW but was soon caught by officers.
Mr Gough's lawyer, Graham Wallis, said: "He was very anxious to take his test. When he was stopped he made a decision which was totally out of character – it is baffling that he behaved this way."
Mr Wallis also highlighted that his client made the "foolish" decision to drive himself to the test centre on April 11, explaining that his mum's car had broken down and she couldn't pick him up for a lift.
Mr Gough admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop and related charges.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC gave him a six-month suspended jail sentence and told him the way he drove was "highly dangerous to others".
He added: "This was an idiotic decision."
Mr Gough also received a 30-month road ban and a £1,400 fines and costs bill.