'Miracle no one killed' by police chase driver's 'lunacy'

Lisa Bastiani will have to wait until December next year for her trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Callum Palfrey was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A dangerous driver has avoided going straight to jail for leading police on a chase around residential streets.

Callum Palfrey was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old had previously admitted dangerous driving and driving while disqualified at the same court in July.

On Wednesday, Palfrey, of Tower Hill, Beccles, also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and or a licence.

The court heard how police saw the driver of a blue Peugeot 206 fail to check for traffic while exiting the BP filling station, in Gosford Road, Beccles, at about 6.30pm on November 23 last year.

Officers attempted to stop the Peugeot when a check of the police national computer showed the vehicle was uninsured.

However, Palfrey failed to stop, and led police on a 10-minute chase around High Leas, Tower Hill, Rigbourne Hill, Kemps Lane, Coney Hill and Ellough Road.

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During the pursuit, Palfrey drove at speeds of up to 65mph in a 30mph zone, jumped red lights, mounted a pavement and travelled the wrong way around a roundabout.

He later handed himself in after being identified on CCTV from the filling station.

The court heard he had previously been convicted of failing to stop, driving without a licence, careless driving and driving without a valid MoT certificate in March 2018.

A month later, he was convicted of drug-driving and banned for 12 months, and was then handed a community order and banned for another three years after being convicted of drug-driving for a second time in January 2020.

Richard Kelly, mitigating, said Palfrey had panicked and driven off, adding: "He did entirely the wrong thing, and he did it for some time."

Mr Kelly said a pre-sentence report had established that Palfrey's behaviour was underpinned by emotional immaturity.

"One would hope that this man will change from one who is immature, reactive and impulsive, to one who is able to change the way he preserves risk," he added.

Mr Kelly said an immediate custodial term would prevent Palfrey from caring for his unwell mother – a job he had effectively fulfilled since leaving school at 16.

Recorder Graham Huston told Palfrey: "In my assessment, it was a miracle no one was killed as a result of your lunacy."

Palfrey was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work, a four-month curfew and a three-year driving ban.