Banned driver who led police on car chase through Biggleswade is jailed

Lee Hallett, from Potton, who has been jailed for 15 months. Picture: Beds police

Lee Hallett, from Potton, who has been jailed for 15 months. Picture: Beds police - Credit: Archant

A banned motorist from Potton was jailed for 15 months today after he admitted speeding off from the police in Biggleswade’s Market Square.

Bricklayer Lee Hallett, 37 – who had just bought a bag of cannabis – drove the Citroen Saxo away with the officers in pursuit.

The chase lasted for a minute until he hit a kerb and a wheel came off, Luton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said Hallett was seen by the police at 5.50pm on the evening of Saturday, November 25.

“Before the police could check anything, he drove off passing a line of stationary traffic,” he said.

“He overtook the traffic at speed and passed through a red light. The police had illuminated their lights.

“He was doing 40 to 45 in a residential area, did not stop at a crossroads or for a red light, and went the wrong way along a one-way street.

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“He took a bend at speed, and the offside front wheel hit the kerb – causing it to come off.

“He was arrested at the scene and gave no reply to the caution.”

A small bag of cannabis was found in the car. When interviewed, Hallett said he had panicked because he had just bought a bag of cannabis.

Hallett, of Everton Road in Potton, appeared for sentence having earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and possessing cannabis.

He had 35 convictions for 79 offences. He should not have been driving because he had failed to take an extended retest that was ordered as part of a driving ban in 2011.

Hayley Garey, defending Hallett, said: “He has a lengthy record – he agrees it is a horrendous record for driving.

“He is under no illusion he is likely to receive a custody sentence, but it was not a prolonged piece of driving. It lasted only a minute.

“It was a split-second wrong decision made because he had cannabis in his possession. He beats himself up for making that mistake.”

Judge Barbara Mensah jailed Hallett for 15 months, and banned him from driving for four years and 7½ months.

She told him: “These offences are too serious for me to consider anything other than a custodial sentence. You carried out very dangerous manoeuvres, and you have disregarded a court order for disqualified driving.”

She said he must not drive again until he has taken the extended retest.