A RAMPAGING driver took police on a dangerous chase around Basildon which saw him mount the kerb while pedestrians were nearby.

Darren Leigh said he was terrified police would catch him without a licence and send him to jail, meaning he would miss the birth of his son.

The 31-year-old had previously been spared jail for a stand-off with police in Southend on May 3 last year, which saw him tasered. He had a razor blade hidden in his mouth.

Leigh was given a 17 month suspended sentence, but was driving around in a BMW when he had no licence on February 6 on Broadmayne in Basildon.

After seeing the police car, he sped off towards Laindon Link at 60 miles an hour, driving over a roundabout at 50 miles an hour.

His driving saw him run red lights, drive up to 80 miles an hour along roads in Basildon, go the wrong way down a duel carriageway and mount the kerb, driving at 30 miles an hour as pedestrians walked by.

He eventually fled the vehicle and ran off.

Prosecuting at Basildon Crown Court, Neil King said: “At a set of traffic lights he turned onto the road and collided with a Grey Ford Focus. This didn’t stop him and he continued off overtaking and undertaking cars.


“It was extremely dangerous, not only speed but other road users and pedestrians when he drove 30 miles an hour on the kerb.”

Mitigating, Sasha Bailey said Leigh, of Old Croft Close, Chelmsford, was going through an “extremely difficult time”.

She added: “When he realised police were behind him, he realised he didn’t have a licence and took the poor action that he did. It gives some indication of the desperation of him at the time not to return to custody.”

Judge Samantha Cohen told Leigh: “How would you feel if your partner was walking down the footpath and someone drove at her at 30 miles an hour?”

She jailed him for 24 months, but due to time already served, he is likely to be released later this year.