Driver in Swindon police chase had just been released from jail for same crime

A BANNED motorist led police on a high-speed chase just weeks after being released from prison for the same thing.

Steven Ross drove at 90mph the wrong way along the section of the rain-lashed Great Western Way between Mannington and Bridgemead as he tried to escape officers in a stolen car.

He also sped through red traffic lights, went the wrong way round roundabouts and turned the headlights off before losing control and spinning the car on a country road.

But as the 39-year-old is already behind bars, having been recalled on the earlier matter, he probably won’t spend another day inside as a result of the new offences.

Ross, who nearly died when he overdosed on a legal high in 2012, took a Vauxhall Astra after the driver left the engine running as he made a delivery on Victoria Road.

Later in the evening of Thursday, December 12 a police patrol spotted the vehicle in the Railway Village and gave chase as he went the wrong way down a one-way street.

Ross sped along Faringdon Road and Westcott Place on to Wootton Bassett Road where he crossed on to the wrong carriageway by Carphone Warehouse.

He then went round the roundabout the wrong way, turning right on to Great Western Way against the direction of traffic where he reached 90mph.

The car then went on to Paddington Drive and Penzance Drive then back the way he came along Wootton Bassett Road, turning down Park Lane past the Outlet Village.

Arriving back on Great Western Way at the Bruce Street bridges, he turned up Mead Way, past the Renault Building, then left on to Purton Road.

As he headed out into the country, he turned the headlights off before losing control and spinning the vehicle.

But even as the police tried to hem him in, the motorist continued for a short distance in reverse as he tried to still get away.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the last section was caught on camera and played the footage of the end of the chase in court.

Much of the incident had taken place on residential streets, he said, though there were few pedestrians around because of the time of night.

Ross, of Culvery Court, Harding Street, pleaded guilty to aggravated taking without consent, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

The court heard he was jailed for two-and-a-half years in August 2012 for burglary and dangerous driving.

Will Woodman, defending, said his client had only been out of prison for a few weeks when he committed the offence.

He said he had done well in that time, only falling back into drug use twice having done his best to address his addiction while inside, but was struggling with money.

A Job Seekers’ Allowance claim was taking a long time to come through, he said, and he was getting coupons for clothing and any money from his mum was going on rent.

He said the taking of the car was an opportunistic offence and the driving off was because he did not want to get caught.

Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “It began with your taking a vehicle and led to you driving it through Swindon over a considerable distance.

“Your driving was appalling. If I was to go into detail as to why your driving was appalling it would take some time to sentence you.

“You drove at excess speed, carried out a number of dangerous manoeuvres, ignored a number of road signs and signals and eventually lost control of the vehicle having been pursued by the police, but still you tried to drive off again.”

As well as jailing him for 20 months, he also banned him from the road for five years and until he has passed an extended test.

In January 2012, Ross was hospitalised after injecting a then legal high called ‘super-cocaine’.

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