A DANGEROUS driver crashed into the motorway's central reservation before armed police pointed guns at him - but officers had the wrong man.

Thomas Olumuyiwa struck the barrier, toppled a motorway sign, and crossed three lanes of traffic, sending up a cloud of smoke and dust, before coming to rest in the hard shoulder of the M5 at junction 5 near Droitwich. The defendant was not speeding, had a licence and was insured when police tried to box in the defendant’s black Volkswagen Golf on July 16 last year. Marked car drivers following behind the unmarked car questioned ‘what on earth the driver in the unmarked car was doing’, the defendant’s barrister told the court. The 55-year-old had already admitted dangerous driving and possession of £30 to £40 worth of cocaine for personal use when he was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Monday. Judge James Burbidge QC said of the situation: “I suspect most of us would panic.”

He added: “The police had information that turned out to be entirely erroneous.”

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said armed response vehicles were deployed to ‘a suspected firearms incident’.

“He had not understood what was going on. It had all happened so quickly,” said Mr Brotherton. Olumuyiwa’s last conviction was 18 years ago. Omar Majid, defending, said: “He was surrounded by police officers pointing guns at him. He did tell me he sustained injuries as a result of the manner in which he was removed from the car. He still has scarring on his back and a persistent headache which he had to receive treatment for in hospital. This has been very difficult for him.”

Judge Burbidge imposed a community order for 18 months, ordered him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Olumuyiwa of Westage Gardens, Manchester, was banned from driving for 12 months and at the end of his disqualification must complete an extended driving retest before he gets behind the wheel again.