Student drove his car at policeman
A LAW student has been jailed for 12 months after driving his car at a police officer.
Joel Naveen accelerated towards the officer, causing him to step out of his way, after he had been caught going the wrong way down a one-way street in Newcastle.
He later abandoned his Ford Focus after crashing through a central reservation wall on Liverpool Road.
The 28-year-old, who had hoped to complete his law degree at Keele University this summer, was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday after being convicted of dangerous driving.
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He had earlier admitted to failing to stop after an accident, and failing to report an accident.
Recorder Bal Dhaliwal said Joel's 'deliberate bad driving' left her no choice but to hand him an immediate custodial sentence.
She said: "This conviction will no doubt have a devastating effect on your career. I'm certain it has already stopped you pursuing some paths, before I have even imposed this sentence."
The court heard how Naveen, of Francis Ward Close, West Bromwich, had driven past police cones placed across High Street, Newcastle, shortly before 1am on June 2 last year.
He then drove down Paradise Street, before turning around and driving back the other way, against the one-way sign.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said: "Two officers were on foot patrol and saw his car parked in Paradise Street, facing the wrong way. They shouted at him, and the defendant gesticulated towards them.
"He then got back in his car and drove away at speed. He went past one officer at a distance of just two feet."
A short time later two pedestrians on Liverpool Road heard a loud bang as Joel's car ploughed into the central reservation.
They saw the defendant exit his vehicle before running off down Liverpool Road.
Antony Schiller, mitigating, said no other vehicles had been in the vicinity during the incident.
Joel contacted police about crashing his car the following day, and was later interviewed about the incident.
Mr Schiller added: "While he could clearly recall hitting the wall, and making off from the scene, he couldn't recall the earlier incident. He had been taking medication for anxiety and depression for a number of years. This has been an extremely difficult time for him, and his mother and father. He is not at all proud of what happened, and it is something he bitterly regrets."
Recorder Dhaliwal also banned Joel from driving for two years, and said he would have to retake his rest.
She said: "Two officers asked you to stop, and rather than taking heed of their request, you gesticulated towards them and drove off. One officer had to step back as you were driving past at high speed. This was deliberate bad driving on your behalf."