A driver registered a VW Golf in his mum’s name, had false plates made for it, then led police on a chase around Oxford at more than twice the speed limit.

Aaron Champion was accused by a judge of ‘brazening it out’ when he was interviewed by the police about his ‘appalling’ driving.

The 22-year-old claimed he’d been the passenger in the Golf when it was pursued around Blackbird Leys on July 4 last year – despite officers naming him as the driver and seeing him open the driver’s door then fleeing the scene.

Sentencing him on Thursday, Judge Maria Lamb blasted: “That was an appalling piece of driving in July of last year. High speeds, through three red lights, on the wrong side of the road, overtaking, mounting the pavement, hitting the embankment, damaging this vehicle, wrong way round a roundabout. I see you nodding.

“It was fortunate that you didn’t cause serious injury to another road user or indeed to yourself.

“Then you tried to brazen it out in the interview by saying you were the passenger.”

Aaron Champion leaves Oxford Crown Court Picture: OM

Aaron Champion leaves Oxford Crown Court Picture: OM

Prosecutor Kellie Enever told Oxford Crown Court that the police officers chased the VW in a wide loop along Ambassador Avenue, Grenoble Road and Green Hill.

Champion hit speeds of 70-80mph in a 30 zone, skipped three red lights, overtook three vehicles on the wrong-side of Grenoble Road, struck the kerb and mounted the embankment when he tried to brake hard, then went the wrong way around a roundabout.

The police officer leading the pursuit said that, although traffic was relatively light, it had been raining heavily and the roads were wet.

The driver had eight convictions for 21 offences. In 2016, while still a youth, he received a rehabilitation order for aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving. Three years later, a crown court judge handed him a three year community order and two year roads ban for stealing a Range Rover and Mercedes after nabbing the keys in a burglary.

Champion, of Field Avenue, Oxford, failed to attend his trial at the magistrates’ court last year and was found guilty in his absence of dangerous driving, driving without a licence or insurance. The justices fined him for having a false registration plate but committed the more serious crimes to the crown court for sentence.

Mitigating, Emma Hornby said her client was committed to complying with court orders. He had already paid off the fine imposed last year for the false numberplate and had completed the unpaid work and drug rehabilitation sessions imposed as part of the 2019 community order.

He had two children with a third on the way and had the offer of labouring work with a family friend. He helped look after his father.

Imposing a nine month prison sentence suspended for a year and a half, Judge Lamb said: “I do think there is a prospect here of rehabilitation. Notwithstanding you did this while a community order was going on, you did fulfil the essential requirements of that community order.

He must complete the thinking skills programme, wear a GPS monitoring tag for six months and pay £425 in costs. The judge banned him from driving for 18 months and ordered he pass an extended retest.

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