Northampton motorist spared jail after driving dangerously and possessing fake gun around Wellingborough

Whiting, 27, will avoid prison time if he sticks to these four conditions set by judge

Friday, 21st May 2021, 8:30 am

A Northampton man who drove dangerously and possessed a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence around Wellingborough was spared jail yesterday (Thursday, May 20).

Joshua Whiting admitted to not stopping for police and leading them on a pursuit around the town and country roads in August, 2019, as well as the gun incident the following month.

The 27-year-old, of Greatmeadow, was disqualified from driving for 12 months at Northampton Crown Court for the first offence.

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Northampton Crown Court

But the sentence for the firearm incident was deferred for three months as he is already serving a community order for a different offence.

His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo gave Whiting a chance to avoid prison if he does not re-offend, engages with the Probation Service, keeps his job and tackles his drug addiction in the meantime.

"If you follow the four proposals that I make to you then I will honour my promise to pass a suspended sentence," the judge told him.

On August 1, 2019, Whiting was spotted in Wellingborough by police driving a black Peugeot suspiciously but he failed to stop, leading them on a 10-minute chase around the town and towards Rushden.

Eventually he got out of the car and tried to run away but was caught and arrested.

Having been released under police investigation, Whiting got into an argument with another motorist after driving dangerously and produced an imitation gun on September 18, 2019.

It started when his Volkswagen Golf undertook another car on a 40mph-limit dual-carriageway near the town and snaked between other vehicles at around 8pm.

Angered by his behaviour, the driver of the undertook car followed him until Whiting stopped in the middle of the road, causing them to also brake heavily to avoid crashing into him.

Whiting got out of his car, swearing and shouting at other motorists with what looked like a revolver by his side, leaving the other driver 'frightened and scared', the court heard.

The passenger in Whiting's car also got out and threw beer cans at the other motorists before they both got back in and drove off.

Police were called and tracked the defendant down using number plate recognition cameras and found the firearm, which turned out to be a cap gun.

Judge Mayo was supposed to sentence Whiting on Wednesday (May 19) but he angrily adjourned the hearing because the prosecution lawyer could not say where exactly the dangerous driving took place.

He told the defendant: "If you do that [stick to the four proposals], then I will abide my promise but if you don't, well you saw my nasty side yesterday so lets hope you don't see it in three months."

As well as the driving ban, Whiting will also have to complete an extended test if he reapplies for his licence.