A BANNED driver drove through an accident blackspot near Chard at such high speeds police following him abandoned their pursuit on the grounds of public safety, only for him to later crash.

Liam Michael Chapman took his mother’s car without her permission and careered along Windwhistle Hill on the A30, ignoring police lights and sirens to stop.

He then put his foot down and started overtaking other vehicles and causing other motorists to have to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

After police gave up the chase, they passed a turning and found that the car had crashed and turned over onto its roof, after damaging some road signs.

The brand-new car was so badly damaged that it was written off and the defendant was arrested at the scene.

Chapman, 28, of Cowen Close, Crewkerne, pleaded guilty to driving a Nissan Juke dangerously on Windwhistle Hill on March 11.

He also admitted taking the vehicle without his mother’s consent, and after it was taken an accident occurred and damage was caused to the vehicle and £400 worth of road signs.

He also admitted driving while disqualified, without insurance and without a licence when he appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil.

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton said the car belonged to the defendant’s mother under the Motability scheme and on the day in question she drove it to a friend’s house and left the key in her handbag.

“Chapman arrived at the address and said he needed to borrow his mother’s mobile phone to do a job search so he stayed there for about 10 minutes and was left alone in the kitchen where her handbag was,” she said.

“At 5pm police were on duty when they had a call about a possible disqualified driver and they saw a Nissan Juke driving towards them from the Tesco roundabout so they activated their blue lights and sirens.

“Instead of stopping, Chapman drove away at speed onto the A30 Windwhistle Hill, overtook other cars and one manoeuvre caused vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision

“The police halted the pursuit and then turned around and passed a turning when they saw the Juke had crashed onto its roof causing substantial damage to the vehicle and nearby road signs.”

Chapman was arrested at the scene and had sustained injuries to his face and hands.

Miss Lenanton said that the defendant was disqualified from driving in 2011 and had been ordered to take a test before he could get his licence back but had not done so.

The magistrates said the case was so serious that Chapman should be committed to Taunton Crown Court for sentence and adjourned all matters until July 20.

They also imposed an interim driving ban on the defendant and released him on conditional bail.

Chair of the Bench, Rosie Wilson, said: “It was a shameful period of driving along with taking your mother’s car.

"You are lucky that nobody died.”