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A man who ‘panicked’ after seeing a police car led officers on a high-speed chase after a court heard he’d ‘forgotten’ he was legally allowed to drive.
Zak Palmer, 25, had passed his driving test just weeks before the incident after having recently been released from prison on license, but sped off down a series of residential streets outside Birmingham, England at 90mph when officers tried to stop him for driving without lights.
The culprit was rammed by police in an attempt to get him to stop and reportedly came ‘within inches’ of hitting other cars after he sped over give-way markings and went around a roundabout the wrong way, before giving in and pulling over after about three minutes.
Palmer, who had a child in the car at the time, surrendered to police with his hands up, telling them ‘I know, I know, I’ve just come off a ban bro.’
As it turned out, he’d actually done nothing wrong, with officers finding that he was fully insured on his car and driving without drink or drugs in his system.
‘The irony is he had passed his test a few weeks shortly before this incident. It’s forgetting that fact and reacting in the way he had done previously when being followed by police that led him to drive in this way,’ his lawyer told the court, per Metro.
‘He panicked when he saw the police and reverted in that moment to the man who shouldn’t have been driving and had no licence. He acknowledges it was very stupid and he put at risk all the hard work he has done since his release from prison.’
A judge agreed to spare Palmer jail time, citing his efforts to ‘turn his life around’ after he was imprisoned for assisting an offender in 2019.
But he said that the offence must be taken ‘seriously’ as Palmer had endangered the life of the child in his car.
‘The reason why we take driving offences so seriously is because most weeks we have a case in the Crown court that starts off like yours, a police chase, that ends up with somebody dead,’ he said.
‘If in your case that person would have been the child sitting in your car, you would be serving a much longer sentence and would have to live with that and a child would have been taken from its family.’
Palmer was handed a 12 months suspended sentence, banned from driving for two years and issued a four-month curfew.
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