Warwick Crown Court heard the car Jammile Brown was driving clipped the wing mirror of one oncoming car, but luckily other drivers managed to avoid him as he hurtled towards them.

He was arrested following a 22-minute, high-speed chase which began in Stratford-upon-Avon and ended near the A435 junction with the M42 after he drove over a police stinger mat.

Brown, aged 24, of Concorde Drive, Castle Vale, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, having no licence or insurance, and possessing cannabis.

He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision, and was ordered to take part in a Thinking Skills programme and disqualified from driving for three years.

Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said that at 6.25pm on Saturday 29th September the police were alerted to a green Ford Focus being driven by Brown in Stratford.

Officers in an unmarked car picked up the Focus as it headed away from Stratford along the A4300 towards Wootton Wawen, and began to follow it.

They lost the Focus but, with the help of the police helicopter, caught up with it again as it sped through the village of Ullenhall at 60mph. And when he reached the junction with the main A435 near Redditch, Brown took a right turn at a no entry sign and headed north on the southbound carriageway.

As he sped against the flow of traffic at up to 110mph there were several near-collisions with on-coming vehicles whose drivers managed to take avoiding action—and the only damage was to a VW van which had its wing mirror clipped.

Eventually the Focus was brought to a stop when it ran over a stinger mat the police had put down ahead of it as it approached Junction 3 of the M42.

Brown was arrested, and in the passenger door pocket the police found a small amount of herbal cannabis which he admitted was his and for his own use.

When he was questioned about his driving Brown, who had no insurance and had had his provisional licence revoked, said he had panicked when he saw the police because there was cannabis in the car.

Roy Gold, defending, said Brown, who helps care for his blind and infirm grandfather, had borrowed the car from his aunt for what he considered to be an innocent journey to visit someone in Stratford.

“There were matters operating on his mind at the time which drove him into a panic. There was also the presence of his friend who had cannabis and was on licence from prison and expressed the view that he would be recalled if he was caught, which was another pressure on him which caused him to act in an uncharacteristic way.”

Recorder Patrick Upward QC told Brown: “Driving of this kind, which plainly threatened the lives of innumerable people, plainly crosses the custody threshold.

“One slip of that steering wheel and you could be staring down ten years’ imprisonment, maybe more. It was an horrendous piece of driving, no matter what excuses you put forward.”

Brown’s grandfather had been allowed to sit in court rather than the public gallery, and was helped in by Brown before going into the dock.

And Recorder Upward added: “The reports suggest you have a sense of responsibility to your family; and one of the things I have in mind is the care you have adopted to your grandfather. Don’t let him down.”