A MAN embarked on a police chase through busy Oxford streets after he was spotted by officers using a phone at the wheel.

Members of the public had to signal to pursuing police to guide the way as Zaheeb Bokhara mounted kerbs in a bid to escape justice.

The 22-year-old of Howard Street, Oxford, had already admitted one count of dangerous driving as well as driving without a licence, without third party insurance and driving while using a mobile phone.

Oxford Crown Court heard at his sentencing hearing yesterday how the incident unfolded at about 4pm on October 23 in the Cowley area of the city.

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Prosecutor Nigel Ogborne said police were in a marked car near Crescent Road when they turned into Junction Road.

There they spotted a silver Hyundai Getz vehicle travelling in their direction.

As they got closer they spotted the driver - Bokhara - with a mobile phone to his right ear.

Having noticed the police car Bokhara then quickly dropped the phone.

Moments later police turned on their blue lights and both cars came to a halt no more than a couple of metres apart.

One of the officers raised his hand to signal Bokhara to stop and Mr Ogborne described him as 'looking straight at the officer'.

Bokhara 'shook his head from side to side' and the stand-off quickly came to an end as the Hyundai pulled away from the police car and mounted a nearby kerb.

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The vehicle moved past officers and he turned right on to Crescent Road, followed by the now pursuing police car.

Bokhara led officers along Crescent Road before heading to Hollow Road, mounting another kerb as he fled, and driving around traffic calming measures in place.

Mr Ogborne said: "There were lots of people walking around the streets so the manoeuvre put them at risk of being struck by the defendant's vehicle."

The court heard that members of the public used hand signals to indicate the direction Bokhara was fleeing in.

Eventually, officers found the car abandoned near Horspath Road which had a 'skid and scrape mark' on it.

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Bokhara was later found and arrested before admitting the charges.

In mitigation at yesterday's hearing his defence barrister Michael Skelley said his client was 'remorseful' for what he had done.

He said Bokhara, who has 20 previous convictions, had recently taken steps to turn his life around and was now studying at university.

Speaking of the incident he said his client 'panicked' and explaining why he was behind the wheel in the first place he said a friend 'urgently needed a lift'.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that in light of Bokhara's efforts to 'do something with his adult life' and his good progress he would suspend the prison sentence he intended to pass.

Bokhara was jailed for a total of eight months, suspended for two years. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and given a 12-month conditional discharge for the phone offence.