A former soldier who led police on a terrifying 95mph chase through Wythenshawe has been slammed by a judge.

Learner driver Corey O’Connor was branded a “foolish child” as he was spared jail by Judge Cross at Manchester Crown Court.

The 21-year-old, of Farnworth, was driving a BMW despite only having a provisional driving licence in the early hours of February 1.

O’Connor was spotted indicating left on Summerfield Road in Wythenshawe at 1.30am by police officers who flashed for him to go – but he did not move.

Instead, the court heard how he looked into the vehicle to acknowledge them, and then turned right before speeding towards Simon’s Way at 95mph.

Prosecuting, Rachel Elizabeth Faux, said police gave chase and he turned right into Greenbrow Road, left into Hollyhedge Road and jumped a red light at 40mph before crashing into a kerb on Southmoor Road and being dragged out of the car by officers.

CCTV footage of the chase was played in court.

O’Connor pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and for driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with licence.

The court heard how O’Connor had joined the army in August 2017 but left in 2018 while waiting for tests for a heart murmur.

He worked as a file handler before joining his current employers at a solicitors.

Judge HHJ Cross said: “If you had stayed in the Army this might not have happened.

“It might have made a man of you instead of the foolish child you are.

He added: “I don’t think he is the kind of person the HM Armed Forces would welcome, quite frankly.”

“Both your mum and your auntie work full time in the army.

“You need to be steady, reliable, trustworthy and honest.

“You come from a supportive home and they probably feel some sense of shame that you have become involved in this type of behaviour.”

Defending, Victoria Lewis, said he was remorseful for his actions and had not been aware at first that they were police officers.

Judge Cross added: “I am entirely satisfied you knew who they were from the start.

“You should have pulled over.”

“No pedestrians or other road users had to take significant evasive action against you.

“If you had stayed in the Army this might not have happened.

“It might have made a man of you instead of the foolish child you are.

“There is good reason to suspend this sentence.

“You have no convictions on your record and you are only 20.

“No-one suffered any harm and you are not a repeat offender.

“You have a future.”

He sentenced O’Connor to a six month custodial sentence suspended for 12 months, 40 hours unpaid work and was given a curfew from 9am to 7pm for 28 days.

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