“He drove through red lights and then head-on"
Jayden Dhariwal, aged 29, of Derby, was jailed for a total of 15 months after leading police on a chase. The drug driver left an officer “petrified” that he was going to crash into his van head-on.
Derby Crown Court heard he just missed colliding with the vehicle by swerving at the last moment and mounting a pavement.
At the time, he was three times the limit for cannabis and was desperately trying to escape being caught by pursuing officers.
The prosecutor Luc Chignell explained that in October 2017, Dhariwal was jailed for 15 months, suspended for two years after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis.
Just after midnight on August 3, 2019, just two months of the order ending, police spotted an Audi A3 being driven by Dhariwal in Stafford Street.
The patrol car illuminated its blue lights and the Audi immediately sped away.
Mr Chignell said: “He reached speeds of 65mph overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road causing one of them to pull over to avoid a collision.
“He drove through red lights and then head-on towards a police van that was approaching from the other direction.
“The driver of the van describes being petrified believing he was going to be driven into head-on.
“The defendant only avoided that when he mounted a pavement.”
Police eventually forced the Audi to stop and found Dhariwal to be carrying a passenger and 14g of cannabis. A test found him to be three times over the legal limit for cannabis.
He was initially released on bail and charged. However, he failed to turn up for court in March 2020 and brought in on a bail warrant in late July.
The drug driver pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while under the influence of drugs, possession of cannabis and being in breach of a suspended sentence.
Matthew Smith, defending, said: “He has been frank in what he has told the court and knows his driving was appalling that night.
“He knew he had been smoking cannabis and he knew he had cannabis in the car and panicked.”
Dhariwal read a letter to the court: “I would like to apologise for what happened.
“I have gone over that night 1,000 times in my head and apologise for how irresponsible I was.
“I understand that I put other peoples’ lives at risk.
“At the time I had issues in my personal life such as my mother being diagnosed with dementia.
“Instead of standing up like a grown man and father I buried my head in the sand.
“I ask for one more chance.”
However, Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “What is particularly serious is that you were heading for a head-on collision with a police Transit van coming in the opposite direction.
“The officer described himself as being petrified envisaging the ramifications of the collision.”
Dhariwal was jailed for 15 months. He was also banned from driving for 25 months.