South Scotland

Johnstonebridge to Penrith police chase driver jailed

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Image caption The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed into the bank in Penrith

A driver who hit speeds of up to 137mph in a cross-border police chase that ended with him crashing into a bank has been jailed.

Joseph Mjemer, 34, of Glasgow, admitted a dangerous driving charge last month.

A court heard how he panicked when police tried to stop him near Johnstonebridge and finally crashed into a wall in Penrith.

He was jailed for eight months at Dumfries Sheriff Court and also banned from the road for three years.

Fiscal depute Allison Herald outlined to the court how the chase had started in Dumfries and Galloway when police decided to stop the Audi car after clocking it at excessive speed.

The blue lights were put on as they followed the car, but Mjemer continued to accelerate - even using the hard shoulder to pass four lorries.

At one stage he hit 137mph as police forces on both sides of the border joined the chase.

Minor injuries

Mjemer turned off the M6 for Penrith and continued to ignore the police cars as he went through red lights.

He ended up in the town itself and hit a keep left sign before crashing into the wall of a bank.

The fiscal added: "Mjemer was unable to get out of the car because of the damage and had to be freed.

"He had minor injuries and didn't require treatment and neither did two police officers who were also injured."

Solicitor Ranald Lindsay said Mjemer was on his way to London to see his partner and their children and when he saw the police he panicked and tried to evade them.

Mr Lindsay added: "He transgressed in a spectacular manner and accepts his madness and full responsibility. He has no excuses."

Sheriff Brian Mohan told Mjemer that there was no realistic outcome other than a custodial sentence.

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