A LEARNER driver who drove the wrong way along the A64 during an 80mph police chase in the dark has been jailed.

Adam John Humpherson, 34, drove at more than twice the speed limit as he “weaved in and around various areas of York,” said Brooke Morrison, prosecuting.

During the half hour pursuit he went the wrong way down a slip road at the Askham Bar interchange and headed towards Leeds on the Scarborough bound carriageway.

“That was an unbelievably dangerous piece of driving,” said Recorder Andrew Dallas.

“A head-on collision with someone coming the other way, wholly not expecting someone to be coming towards them, would almost inevitably have been fatal.”

Ms Morrison said police had to break off the pursuit because it would have been too dangerous to continue.

Other police units then picked Humpherson up at the Woodthorpe roundabout and the pursuit continued.

It only ended when Humpherson lost control at the Askham Bar roundabout and specialist police drivers rammed his Golf.

The judge said police had tried to box Humpherson in earlier during the chase but he had reversed out and escaped. They had also tried to stop him by nudging his car.

Ms Morrison said the pursuit had begun in Poppleton Road, Holgate, after a police officer had tried to stop Humpherson after he ignored a no-right turn sign in Boroughbridge Road, at 1.15am on January 26.

Humpherson had driven at up to 80mph through residential areas with a 30mph speed limit, going through red traffic lights, driving on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of keep left beacons.

He had two passengers with him and gave a false name when he was arrested. Tests revealed he had taken cannabis and cocaine.

Humpherson, of Poppleton Road, Holgate, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving with a provisional licence without a supervisor.

York Crown Court heard he had never passed a driving test and already had eight penalty points for driving without insurance and without a full licence.

Jailing him for 14 months and banning him from the roads for two years and seven months, the judge told Humpherson: “You had no right to be driving at all.”

He ordered that Humpherson take an extended driving test after he finishes his ban before driving alone again.

For Humpherson, Neal Kutte said he had panicked. “It had been a moment of madness,” he said.

The judge said it had been “30 minutes of madness” because the chase didn’t end until 1.50am and Humpherson had been driving badly before the pursuit began.

Mr Kutte said Humpherson, who has 60 previous convictions, but none for bad driving, had been trying to lead a law-abiding life.

He had got a job in a warehouse, though he had lost that three months ago, and had been offered a job through an agency starting this week.

He had recently suffered a major injury that had put him in hospital and jail would cost him his home.