Man who led 100mph chase in Telford is spared prison
A man who led police on a 100mph chase – just months after waving a knife at members of the public – has been spared jail.
Joshua John Clifton, 23, ran a red light, went the wrong way down a one-way street and caused pursuing officers to use sirens and blue lights to warn members of the public on the six-mile chase from Halesfield 7 in Telford to Shifnal on the B4379 on April 3 this year.
The car chase came three days after he appeared in court to plead guilty to having a bladed article following an episode on January 30 this year when he wielded an eight-inch kitchen knife in public.
It took police threatening Clifton with a taser for him to back down after he had brandished the weapon in a kebab shop in Haybridge Road, Hadley, Telford, and in the street nearby.
Addressing the knife incident first, Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Shrewsbury Crown Court: “Officers arrived and saw him making slashing motions.
“They felt there was a high risk to themselves and members of the public. The officers drew their tasers. He dropped the knife and lay down on his stomach as they asked. He said ‘Mate, I’m mentally ill, I need help’.”
Then in April, Clifton was driving a Ford Focus when he spotted police behind him on the B4379.
Mr Jones said: “He was doing 100mph on a 60mph road. He maintained high speed all the way to Shifnal. The officers considered abandoning the chase for the safety of the public.
"He ran a temporary red light in Market Street and carried on, turning right into Bradford Street and again into Aston Street.”
Clifton carried on into Lamledge Lane but officers were able to slow him and force him to stop at a housing estate, where he was arrested.
Clifton, who used to live in Telford but is now in supported accommodation in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and failure to stop.
Rob Edwards, defending Clifton, made a “mercy plea” to keep his client out of prison.
He said: “He has moved out of his mum’s and into supported accommodation where he is getting support for his mental health and substance misuse.
“If he goes to jail he will lose that. He is a very vulnerable young man. This is a plea for mercy on his behalf.”
Judge Anthony Lowe sentenced him to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years.
He told Clifton: “You are very lucky to have this one chance. You have to change your ways.”
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