MALVERN St James' school bursar has resigned after being convicted over a drink-fuelled, 80mph police chase through the streets of Malvern in which he rammed a patrol car.

Denis Smith, aged 60, resigned from the school after receiving an eight-month jail term suspended for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court last month.

Ali O'Neil, director of admissions and marketing for St James, said: "Mr Smith, a former soldier with a distinguished military career, was involved in an unfortunate driving incident during the Christmas holiday.

"In the best interests of the school, Mr Smith tendered his resignation during the spring term and is no longer employed at Malvern St James."

The court heard that Smith managed to evade capture using defensive driving techniques learnt from his time serving in the Army in Northern Ireland.

He was traced through his vehicle registration to his address at the girls' school and arrested in bed, shortly after the incident in December 2007. He refused to take a breath test. Smith told police officers: "There's no point. I know I'm well over the limit."

The judge took Smith's military record into consideration when deciding on the sentence. He was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid community work.

Judith Kenny, defending, said Smith was suffering from combat stress and his father was dying.