A driver who crashed cars at high speeds and put a police officer in danger claims the Devil’s voice had been “echoing around in his head”.
Derby Crown Court recently heard how Jordan Sheldon, of Chesterfield, was twice the drink-drive limit when he fled from police in Clay Cross before stopping and reversing into a patrol car and narrowly avoiding and trapping an officer.
And, according to the court, the 20-year-old stole keys to his father’s car while he was on bail before fleeing in the vehicle at high speeds in North Wingfield.
Miss Sonal Ahya, prosecuting, said Sheldon mounted a kerb during the North Wingfield incident and then overtook vehicles at 80mph before veering into the opposite carriageway and colliding with a Land Rover.
She added: “The driver of the Land Rover got out to check the defendant and his friend were okay but he chose to speed off.
“A witness who was with her two young children on the pavement said he travelled towards them at speed on the wrong side of the road.”
The court heard how the first incident took place in Clay Cross in October, last year, while the second happened in North Wingfield in March, this year.
Miss Ahya said police parked in the car park of Clay Cross police station heard the noise of tyres screeching during the first incident and saw the vehicle driven by the defendant go past at speed.
She added: “They stopped him and could see a can of lager on the front seat next to him.
“They asked him if he had been drinking and he proceeded to reverse back into the police carpark on three occasions almost trapping a female officer between the two vehicles.
“Had she not managed to push herself away she would no doubt have been injured.
“The defendant then drove off again at speed and then abandoned his vehicle a short distance away and ran off.
“Witnesses called the police who chased after him and apprehended him.”
Sheldon, of Taylor Crescent, Spital, Chesterfield, was arrested for this offence at Clay Cross and while on bail he committed the further driving offences at North Wingfield.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence, without insurance, exceeding the drink-drive limit, failing to stop following an accident, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
Will Bennett, defending, said Sheldon was immature with limited intelligence.
He added: “In a psychiatric assessment he told the doctor that he had been hearing a voice in his head for six months and he thinks it might have been the Devil.
“He said the voice had been echoing around in his head and the voice told him to drive the car.
“He has spent the last six months frightened about what’s happening in his head.
“He knows that his behaviour on these two occasions could have killed somebody.”
Judge Jonathan Bennett jailed Sheldon for 22 months and disqualified him from driving for 28 months.
He said: “It was an appalling piece of driving but I take into account your troubled history and one doctor’s conclusion that you have an unstable personality disorder.”