Arrested driver fled after being treated in hospital
A BUSINESSMAN arrested after driving dangerously, who then gave police the slip for two years, has been jailed for six months.
Oneil Martin tried to outrun a patrol car in his powerful V6 VW Golf in July 2009, Bristol Crown Court heard.
After speeding and forcing other cars to take evasive action he crashed into a parked lorry and was given police bail to attend Frenchay Hospital for a medical check.
The Kingswood man then disappeared until July 2011, when police spotted him driving a BMW X5 on the M32 and arrested him.
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Martin, 42, of Ingleside Road, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Judge Michael Roach told him: "I know the streets concerned, a heavily residential area where the speed limit is 30mph.
"You were driving at twice that speed, driving on the wrong side of the road and you forced other road users out of the way.
"You put a lot of people at risk and it is only your luck that prevented injury."
Jamaican driving-licence holder Martin was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended driving test.
Nadeem Aullybocus, prosecuting, said police spotted Martin driving a VW Golf slowly in Summerhill Road, St George, and indicated for him to stop for a check.
Mr Aullybocus said: "The vehicle made off. There were two male occupants and the defendant was driving.
"It was travelling at up to 65mph through the 30mph limit where there were shoppers, people and youths on push bikes."
The court was told Martin would turn his car at speed, flicking out its rear end, as well as going on the wrong side of the road.
Mr Aullybocus said: "The Golf braked heavily and mounted the pavement.
"The driver lost control and hit a lorry which was parked.
"There was a large cloud of smoke from two airbags and the occupants were clearly shaken.
"They confirmed their details and a hand-held fingerprint device confirmed their identity."
It was while on police bail to attend hospital that Martin vanished and wasn't seen again for two years.
He was interviewed and said he couldn't remember what happened, though police noted he apologised for his actions at the time.
Miss Catherine Rabaiotti, defending, said: "When he heard sirens he panicked.
"He became fearful of what would happen to him and he travelled from the UK to Jamaica."
Miss Rabaiotti said her client travelled extensively, running an import/export business, and had continued operating following the crash.
He conceded he had no real need to return to the UK other than to face the driving charge.