A DANGEROUS driver who tore through the city at 80mph before smashing into a taxi in a dramatic Christmas Eve police chase has been jailed.

Harry Rowe's driving and the crash he caused in Headington last year left taxi driver Zafeer Munim with numerous injuries and a nearby phone box obliterated.

The 19-year-old of Swanshurst Lane, Birmingham, had to be threatened with a Taser by police after he staggered from his smashed Nissan Note abandoning his three injured passengers.

Read again: The original report from the incident last year

Rowe appeared at Oxford Crown Court for sentencing yesterday having admitted one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Outlining the case prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson said the whole incident was sparked by a police chase in the centre of the city shortly before midnight on the night before Christmas.

The Oxford Times:

A mobile phone photograph of the scene taken on the night and sent to the Oxford Mail.

He said: "Police officers were on patrol in a marked police car on High Street and they were following another car when a red Nissan Note, driven by this defendant, came to their attention.

"It suddenly overtook cars in front of it at speed trying to avoid police. Police gave chase and followed it."

He said the police chase, which reached speeds of up to 80mph, saw the car hurtle through the city towards The Plain and up St Clement's and then Headington Road.

Read again: The road was shut for repairs for some time

Rowe was driving with his lights off and crossed a number of red traffic lights.

Mr Ward-Jackson said that such was the speed of the car that pedestrians had to jump out of the way and cower in doorways to avoid being hit.

Officers had to call off the pursuit out of fear for the safety of others.

The whole chase, which covered a total of 2.17 miles, lasted just three minutes and came to a sudden end near to the Sainsbury's Local at London Road, Headington.

Rowe, driving in the Nissan, struck a traffic island before losing control and slamming into the back of a parked Vauxhall Touran taxi as well as a phone box which was completely destroyed.

The Oxford Times:

When police swarmed on the area Rowe, having caused serious injuries to the taxi driver and injuries to the passengers, got out and fled the scene.

The court heard officers had to deploy a Taser, which was not fired, in order to get him to stop.

As a result of the crash Mr Munim was left with a fractured shoulder blade and two further fractures as well as a punctured lung and a cut to the head.

Read again: The obliterated phone box is removed

The taxi driver, who was at the end of his shift and getting read to go home, said the incident had left him in pain and he needed hospital treatment.

In mitigation at yesterday's hearing, defence barrister Makhan Shoker said that his client had only embarked on the high-speed chase because his passengers had told him to and he had been 'in a state of panic.'

Speaking of Rowe leaving the scene he said that the crash would have been 'traumatic' for him.

He also urged the court for leniency in light of his young age and his bright 'future prospects.'

Sentencing, Judge Maria Lamb said it was a 'miracle' that anybody got out of the crash.

The Oxford Times:

She said: "The photographs of the aftermath are horrifying. People had to be cut out of the vehicle.

"Your driving had the potential to maim, if not worse, other road users [and] other pedestrians who were undoubtedly scared.

"And then you ran away, you abandoned those who you must have realised even in your panic and confusion that they were hurt.

"The fact that you stopped and came back it was the case in fact that you were told the officers might employ the use of a Taser."

Rowe was jailed for 16 months and disqualified from driving for three years and eight months.

He must also pay a victim surcharge.