A driver put lives at risk as he took off at 100mph and ran red lights in a bid to evade police in Southampton before he crashed into a railway embankment.

Kevin Barrett floored his Vauxhall Insignia in the early hours after failing to stop for officers, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Judge Brian Forster said someone "could have been killed" when the 34-year-old accelerated away from an unmarked car, running red lights and driving between 80 and100mph. 

Officers first spotted Barrett driving 'inconsiderately' on the M3 at Winchester and followed him on the A33. He slowed down when police followed.

But as officers approached, he drove off again onto Basset Avenue in Southampton before stopping to let two men get out of the car so they could flee.

Watch the police dashcam footage of the police chase here

A police officer approached the car but Barrett sped away again - taking a blind junction at Bassett Green Road. 

Officers lost sight of the car but gave chase and found it just seconds later with Barrett having crashed into the railway embankment on Stoneham Way.

Barrett and his passenger had fled by the time police arrived. But later that day, Barrett reported to Essex police that his car had been stolen around a day before the incident.

He was later charged with dangerous driving, which he denied, but he then pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial. 

The incident took place just after midnight on July 14, 2022.

Daily Echo: Kevin Barret's crashed Vauxhall Insignia on Stoneham Way, SouthamptonKevin Barret's crashed Vauxhall Insignia on Stoneham Way, Southampton (Image: CPS)

Prosecutor Matthew Parry said Barrett had taken a "deliberate decision" to ignore the rules of the road. 

Judge Brian Forster KC added: "There could have been a fatal accident or someone could have been seriously injured.

"Usually I sentence someone to an immediate period of imprisonment in this situation where the public is put at risk."

The reason Barrett, of Felbridge Road, Ilford, was in Southampton is not known and the passengers were never identified.

Emma Heath, mitigating, said he had planned to stay with a friend in the city that night. 

She added that Barrett suffers from PTSD "as a result of childhood trauma relating to police intervention and being taken from his mother at a young age".

She said: "This would have informed his fight or flight decision-making."

Barrett has 23 convictions for 38 previous offences, including supplying Class A drugs, failing to stop for police and driving uninsured.

He was handed a 40-week sentence suspended for 18 months and must complete 80 hours of unpaid work plus 30 rehabilitation days. 

He was banned from driving for two years and will need to take an extended re-test.