Toby Boyes, 26, sped around blind bends on the wrong side of the road and streaked through traffic in the tightest of margins as he tried to flee a high-performance police car in a Renault Clio, York Crown Court heard.
During the white-knuckle chase along the A61 Ripon bypass, Boyes – who had two passengers in the car – bombed through a 40mph zone at over 70mph and somehow managed to squeeze through a narrow gap between a tractor and oncoming traffic as motorists were forced to veer onto a grass verge to avoid a collision.
Prosecutor Rachael Landing said the chase began after the Clio was spotted by a traffic officer on the bypass at about 11am on April 13 last year.
The officer suspected the Clio had been involved in an earlier incident in Northallerton and switched on the blue lights and siren, but Boyes sped off towards Boroughbridge Road.
Ms Landing said that despite hazard lights on the road warning drivers about bends ahead, Boyes overtook vehicles and drove on the wrong side of the road.
As motorists sought refuge on the grass verges and others had to brake sharply, Boyes “forced his way between an oncoming vehicle and a tractor” at Ripon Racecourse, before mounting a curb, bringing the Renault to a halt.
His two passengers ran out of the vehicle but all three were arrested at the scene. Boyes was arrested but refused a roadside test.
A subsequent blood test in custody revealed he was over the specified limit for cannabis and cocaine.
“He admitted being a regular user of both (drugs),” said Ms Landing.
Boyes was charged with dangerous driving, two counts of drug-driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
He admitted all charges and appeared for sentence on Thursday.
The court heard that Boyes’s car had in fact not been involved in the earlier road-traffic incident in Northallerton, as had been suspected by the officer who turned his car around and gave chase.
Ms Landing said that Boyes, of Quaker Lane, Northallerton, had 15 previous convictions for 37 offences including dangerous driving and offering to supply amphetamine, for which he received a suspended prison sentence in September 2020. His latest offences were in breach of that order.
Charlotte Noddings, mitigating, said Boyes had post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from a difficult childhood and needed “specialist help”.
But judge Simon Hickey said “it wasn’t post-traumatic stress disorder” that led Boyes to bomb through 40mph zones at virtually double the speed limit.
“You had the opportunity to stop – PTSD or no,” he told Boyes.
“You put a number of road users at risk. Having driven on the wrong side of the road on a series of bends, you had no idea what was coming the other way.”
Jailing Boyes for 18 months, Mr Hickey told him his offences were aggravated by his criminal record.
Boyes was banned from driving for two years.