Dangerous driver Couri Wilson has been told to ‘grow up’ by a top judge – after being arrested wading through a canal.
The 23-year-old was spotted driving his partner’s Volkswagen Passatt along Potteries Way on January 31 when it triggered police ANPR cameras.
But Wilson refused to stop for the police, sped off through the streets of Hanley and Northwood, and jumped in the canal after dumping the car.
Now the defendant has been handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and driving without insurance or a licence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Prosecutor Naomi Nelson-Cofie said: “Officers saw the car had a drugs marker on it and that it was insured to a woman.
“Stopping the vehicle was a priority but it reached upwards of 60mph in a 30mph zone. It failed to give-way, caused other drivers to swerve, and narrowly missed a parked car.
“There was a single-lane bridge and he sped over without checking. The vehicle was abandoned and the defendant tried to wade through the canal – with officers on both sides.”
The court heard Wilson, of Dividy Road, Bentilee, is about to become a father for the second and third time – with one of his girlfriends willing to offer him accommodation.
Julian Taylor, mitigating, said: “His personal life is somewhat complicated.
“I cannot mitigate the driving and ironically the car was abandoned in a location that was more rural. He then got in the canal but that was never going to be a long-term solution.”
The suspended sentence includes a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Judge David Fletcher told Wilson: “It was a good job you had your bronze swimming badge.
“You have a strong woman supporting you but are a feckless man. You need to grow up because you are behaving like you are 15 when you are 23.
“It was shocking driving through a built-up area. You are a father and you are about to father two more children. This behaviour is not acceptable.”
Wilson was also handed an 18-month driving ban and told to pay £300 court costs.