A DANGEROUS driver who led police on a 20-minute chase at speeds of up to 110mph switched off his headlamps and drove through a red light in a bid to evade his pursuers.

An Essex Police dog unit began the chase at a caravan park in Clacton after Charlie Ackland, 20, failed to stop when indicated to do so.

The young man, who had never been in trouble with the law before, led the police on a 20-minute chase along the A133, A120 and A12.

A body-worn camera sported by one of the officers captured the entire pursuit.

In footage, played in court, the officer can be heard to comment on the speed of Ackland’s Ford Fiesta as it reaches 110mph.

She also spots sparks flying from one of the wheels.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard for six minutes of the late-night chase, Ackland switched off all lights on the car.

At one stage he careers through a red light.

Ackland, who had a passenger in the car with him, stopped and was arrested in the early hours of Saturday, June 1 this year.

In police interview, he apologised for his actions and accepted they were dangerous.

Peter Clark, prosecuting, said: “He said he panicked when he drove past a marked police vehicle.

“He was aware they were

signalling for him to stop - he said he froze and just kept driving.”

Ann Fraser, mitigating, said Ackland had been a man of good character who lives in a respectable family home.

She said: “His mother works as a teaching assistant and his older brother is in employment.

“They have had no involvement whatsoever with the criminal justice system.”

“He not only expresses remorse but has given up his vehicle.

“He didn’t trust himself to drive so decided to get rid of his car and now does not drive at all.”

Ms Fraser said an injury he suffered in an unprovoked assault at the age of 17 had led to his panic at the outset of the chase.

Judge Charles Gratwick jailed Ackland, of Harpers Way, Clacton, for six months and banned him from driving for two years.

He said: “It is right, though mercifully, no other cars were forced to take evasive action.

“But there were numerous vehicles - as the footage demonstrated - travelling on the other carriageway where there was no central reservation.”

“You were putting those other drivers at risk travelling at the speeds you did.”