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Driver in police chase turned car over

PUBLISHED: 15:22 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 10:03 12 August 2010

A DRIVER who mysteriously panicked when he saw a police car finished up turning his new Audi on its side, a court heard. A judge said it was a mystery why 33-year-old Andrew Tree made a dash from police as he was of good character and was not over the dr

A DRIVER who mysteriously panicked when he saw a police car finished up turning his new Audi on its side, a court heard.

A judge said it was a mystery why 33-year-old Andrew Tree made a dash from police as he was of good character and was not over the drink limit, Croydon Crown Court heard last Friday.

Tree, of Blackthorn Road, Biggin Hill, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. He was given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 250 hours' unpaid community work.

Prosecuting, Shahnaz Ahmed said Tree was in Crest View Drive, Orpington, late at night on May 27 last year when a police car pulled up alongside him. He suddenly accelerated and there followed a chase over five miles through several roads in the borough, including Oxhawth Crescent, Chesham Avenue and Towncourt Lane

He jumped red traffic lights and reached up to 70mph in 30mph areas before flipping his car over in Church Road, Orpington.

PC Simon O'Reilly, fearing that the car might catch fire, smashed at the windscreen to help Tree to get out. Tree, who injured his shoulder in the crash, had had a drink that night but the reading was below the legal limit.

Defending, Andrea Ferguson said: "He was confident he was not over the drink limit, and he was of good character and has never been in trouble. He had no reason to panic."

Tree was given a 10-month sentence suspended for two years. He will have to pay £174 costs.

He was disqualified from driving for a year and must take an extended driving test before again being allowed behind the wheel of a car.

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