The very presence of police can make some drivers a little nervous, even if there’s no reason to be, but one young driver from Gloucester reacted to the fear in the most irrational fashion.
24-year-old Michael Gough was driving himself to his local test centre (his first mistake) to try to pass his driving test when police attempted to pull him over ─ having found his number plates belonged to his father’s Fiat, not the BMW he was in.
Upon flagging Mr Gough down, Police asked him to open the car door but were left in a cloud of smoke when the young driver decided to speed off.
Panicked by the situation, the plant fitter from Quedgeley, Gloucester, then drove at 70mph through a number of 30mph zones and the wrong way up one-way street to try and shake his pursuers before stacking the Beemer into a parked car.
Reports say Mr Gough tried to make a run for it but was soon caught by officers.
Gough said he made the mistake of driving himself to his local test centre because his mother’s car was faulty and she was unable to drive him there.
Speaking on behalf of his client, lawyer Graham Wallis explained his actions were out of character: “[Gough] 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,” adding that his decision to drive away from police was, “foolish”.
It’s not yet clear why the number plates had been swapped over, but we do know it was a police search for a stolen BMW in the area that lead to police attempting to pull him over.
Mr Gough, a father-of-one, received a six-month suspended jail sentence and has to pay £1,400 in fines and costs for his troubles. He will also now have to wait 30 months before he can retake his driving test, thanks to a driving ban.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC was unimpressed with the behaviour, saying his behaviour was “highly dangerous to others”.