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Drug-driver fleeing police nearly collided with bus

Motorist crashed through red light after red light, court told

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A DRIVER fleeing police while under the influence of drugs nearly caused an accident with a bus.

The horrific near miss in Calcot happened as Joseph Daniel Waters fled from pursuing officers at high speed, crashing through multiple red lights.

Maddy Charlesworth, prosecuting at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 9, said officers saw the 21-year-old jump the lights near an entrance to the M4 and began pursuing him.

Mr Waters, of Laytom Rise, Tilehurst, refused to stop, ignoring blue lights and sirens.

He eventually pulled off the motorway and careered through multiple red lights in the streets of Calcot and Ms Charlesworth said: “As a result he narrowly avoided a bus, which was going through a green light and had to physically stop to avoid a collision.”

Mr Waters eventually pulled over in a narrow backstreet. He was arrested and later tested positive for cannabis.

He admitted driving a Volkswagen Jetta carelessly and driving with a controlled drug exceeding the prescribed limit in his blood.

Mr Waters also has convictions for possessing cannabis and for obstructing police.

A probation officer who interviewed him said: “He drove through the red lights to get away because he got nervous.”

Simon Hammudi, defending, said his client, a father of one, was “very remorseful.”

He added that he was a self empoloyed handiman who spent up to £40 a week on cannabis.

Presiding magistrate Brenda Harding told Mr Waters: “This was at the very top end of the careless driving scale – it is very very serious and could have caused a terrible accident.”

Mr waters was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £200 with £85 costs plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £30.

In addition he was made subject to a 12 month community order with 100 hours unpaid community work requirement.

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