A DANGEROUS driver who drove at a police officer, forcing him to dive for cover was told he would be home for Christmas after a judge jailed him for just 20 weeks.

Daniel Newman forced both a pedestrian and a police officer to jump out of the way in Hereford.

On both incidents of dangerous driving, which happened just 24 hours apart, he had already been banned from driving and was flouting the ban as he broke the speed limit, ran red lights and contravened road signs. His driving was considered so dangerous that officers were twice forced to call off the pursuit.

The 24-year-old of Alexandra Avenue, Hereford, had already admitted two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of driving while disqualified, two counts of failing to stop when asked by a constable and one of possession of cannabis when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

Simon Phillips, prosecuting, said the first incident of dangerous driving happened on July 24 this year at around 8.30pm.

An officer performed checks on a Volkswagen Golf registered to a female and identified as being uninsured.

The officer illuminated his car's blue lights but the defendant drove off along Belmont Street at 40mph, breaking the 30mph speed limit in a residential area.

He drove along Victoria Street, running a red light and headed onto St Martin's Street, running a second red light over the old bridge, contravened a no-entry sign and drove into King Street towards the Cathedral.

Simon Phillips, prosecuting, said: "Police officers stopped the chase at that stage. They felt it was too dangerous and did not wish to cause any further collision."

Newman abandoned the car in Harrison Street.

On the following night police chased Newman again. This time the defendant was behind the wheel of a Peugeot 309 and once again he failed to stop when officers illuminated blue lights. Newman drove along Belmont Road, turned towards the Oval and on to Great Western Way.

"A pedestrian had to jump out of the way as the car drove down a pedestrian walkway" said Mr Phillips.

Again, because of the dangerousness of the driving police had to call off the pursuit. However, other officers became involved later. At one point Newman stopped the car and officers expected him to run.

Mr Phillips said: "The Peugeot accelerated towards the police car and the officer had to dive back into the police car to avoid injury.

"The Peugeot struck the door of the car as it drove off and made its escape."

Newman was arrested an hour later at Tesco Express and was found with cannabis in a tupperware box.

In police interview he made a full and frank admission. He had been disqualified from driving on December 7, 2017 for 18 months. He had previous convictions including for drug driving, siphoning off fuel from a lorry, breaking into a kebab van, stealing a chainsaw and for criminal damage and threatening behaviour.

Michael Aspinall, defending, accepted that the offence crossed the custody threshold. He said Newman had a chaotic family life and that his father was a heroin addict and had texted his son to tell him that he intended to kill himself. Newman suffers from ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder.

"To use his word to me, he is 'disgusted' with himself" said Mr Aspinall.

Newman said: "I have been an idiot in the past and now it's time for change. Enough is enough. I want to be a positive father for my children not like my father was and I have to change."

Judge Jim Tindal said: "I'm conscious you have two young children and have Christmas coming up. A short sharp shock is what is called for in your case. You can be back with your kids, where you belong, before Christmas time."

The judge jailed him for 20 weeks of which he can expect to serve half and banned him from driving for three years. He must also complete an extended retest.