A man whose driving to escape the police forced a minibus full of old people to do an emergency stop has been jailed for 16 months.
The chase begun when Charlie Blackwell, 24, overtook a row of cars in Ridley Road, Bury St Edmunds, on September 23 and forced a police patrol car to move aside.
Ipswich Crown Court heard on Friday that Blackwell, of Shelley Way, Thetford, ignored a police request to stop and sped away with officers in pursuit of his BMW car.
Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said that because of the speed Blackwell was travelling at, he would have been unable to take any evasive measures to avoid a hazard.
On a bend Blackwell overtook three vehicles and forced a minibus carrying elderly people to make an emergency stop.
At the junction of Langton Road and Winthrop Road, Blackwell failed to stop,mounted a pavement and went onto a grassed area.
Mr Crimp said the BMW skidded and came to rest with one wheel over a ditch.
Blackwell ran off and police launched a search for him using dogs and a police helicopter.
A short time later Blackwell was found hiding in a drainage ditch near West Suffolk Hospital and was arrested.
When interviewed he declined to answer any questions.
Blackwell pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving unsupervised on a provisional licence and driving without insurance.
Mitigating, Lorri Tucker said Blackwell had expressed remorse and realised the dangers that his driving had caused. He had panicked when he found he was being followed by the police.
Sentencing him, Judge Rupert Overbury told Blackwell that his driving had been ‘dreadful and dangerous’.
Blackwell was also banned from driving for three years.