A MAN who tried to blame his Staffordshire bull terrier for sitting on the pedals when he was caught by police driving at close to 100mph has been jailed for 13 months.
Jordan Winn, 23, told police Buster was in the footwell of his 2.4l Volvo S60 as he careered along a 30mph zone at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon in October last year.
He had admitted dangerous driving at a previous hearing, but on the basis that he could not control the car because of his excitable dog.
Judge Christopher Prince, sentencing at Durham Crown Court, said it was a “ludicrous account” which he dismissed.
Winn was spotted by a police officer, who was parked off Whitehills Way, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, zoom past.
The officer radioed in to the control room that he was in pursuit, and set off behind the Volvo.
Footage played in court showed the police car reached 88mph in an attempt to catch up with Winn. The officer estimated Winn must have been driving at close to 100mph.
His Volvo could then be seen braking hard and turning right, just missing an oncoming car which had two adults and two children in it.
Winn then stopped, around a mile from where the police pursuit started, and the police officer got out to speak to him.
As Winn also got out of his car, his Staffordshire bull terrier leapt out.
And the owner went on to blame Buster when he was arrested and later interviewed.
Judge Prince told him: “You advanced an utterly ludicrous account on which you were to insist for over a year.
“You told the police officer the reason you drove in that manner is because the dog that was in your vehicle was jumping around and became trapped beneath your foot.”
The judge said Winn claimed the car accelerated and braked “because the dog’s backside was on the pedals of the vehicle”.
That claim was dismissed at the previous hearing, known as a trial of issue.
Sentencing the employed 23-year-old, whose pregnant girlfriend was due to give birth in March and who has been supported by his parents, the judge said he would be failing the public if he did not immediately jail him.
He told the defendant: “Your driving was extremely dangerous and it is just a matter of pure good fortune that nobody was seriously injured or killed during what was I am quite sure a police pursuit.”
The judge said he was not being punished for the “ludicrous defence” he put forward, but for the potential harm he caused to others, and jailed him for 13 months and banned him from driving for three years.
Paul Currer, defending, said: “He blames no-one other than himself.”
He said no-one was injured, no property damaged and the period of driving was short and over a small distance.
Winn, of Murray Park, Stanley, had a previous conviction for driving without due care and attention and using threatening behaviour following a row with another motorist.