Danger driver threatened with jail

PUBLISHED: 16:20 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:55 11 May 2010

A POLICE patrol on duty on the A505 dual carriageway between Royston and Baldock were astonished to see headlights coming towards them, a court heard today (Thursday). Van driver Cengiz Combat, 30, had got confused, but then panicked when police tried to

A POLICE patrol on duty on the A505 dual carriageway between Royston and Baldock were astonished to see headlights coming towards them, a court heard today (Thursday).

Van driver Cengiz Combat, 30, had got confused, but then panicked when police tried to stop him.

The police car got onto the opposite carriageway so that it could track Combat, with their sirens on and lights flashing urging him to stop, but he failed to do so.

They then tried to reach a roundabout before him to prevent other cars getting on to the carriageway and being faced with the van coming towards them, but Combat got there first, went round the roundabout twice and continued back on the A505 towards Baldock still on the wrong carriageway.

Prosecutor Archie Mackay said a police helicopter was deployed and tailed the pursuit which lasted 32 minutes and crossed into Cambridgshire until he was finally stopped with a stinger device outside Bassingbourn.

Combat pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to dangerous driving. The offence began shortly before midnight on June 21.

He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months with 180 hours unpaid work, a curfew, costs of £640 and a 12-month driving ban.

Mr Mackay said when he was arrested a breath test for alcohol was negative, but officers said he seemed "vacant". He said he did not think the police were pursuing him.

James Price, defending, said: "He is exceptionally remorseful and wishes to say sorry and make recompense as best he can.

"The offence is not aggravated by drink or drugs and although it went on for some time the most dangerous part was in the first seven minutes.

"Driving had been his job until then and he has a new wife and a mortgage to maintain. He is shortly to take part in an intensive cordon bleu training course endorsed by Gordon Ramsey."

Judge Barbara Mensah told Combat, of Landmead Road, Cheshunt: "There are many aggravating features to this prolonged course of dangerous driving. Your confusion that night may have been through tiredness and you are very lucky there was not a serious accident.

"But what stands out in this case is your remorse and because of your personal mitigation I am going to suspend the sentence.

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