A notorious dangerous driver has escaped being sent to prison but has been banned from the roads once again after his latest Police pursuits in Ryde and Newport.
26-year-old Joseph Barrass – better known as Joey Baker – has received a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, after admitting a string of driving offences including dangerous driving, 3 counts of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
The first incident occurred on 20th July last year when officers pursued a Vauxhall Astra along Ashey Road in Ryde. The vehicle then dived up Smallbrook Lane and along High Park Road. A witness at the time described seeing a blue Astra then coming ‘sideways’ out of Somerset Road as the vehicle joined Marlborough Road. The car was soon found abandoned in nearby Amherst Mews, off Amherst Place.
On 22nd August, Barrass – who is known to use other aliases – was once again seen behind the wheel of a car whilst already serving a 43-month driving ban. Police spotted him driving a Ford Focus on Godric Road, Newport. He began to drive dangerously, an offence which he has admitted.
The Isle of Wight Crown Court also heard last week that officers spotted Joe driving a Ford Focus in Shanklin and a pursuit began towards the village of Godshill. Barrass hit one of the Police vehicles in an attempt to escape after being blocked in. He soon took to his feet having abandoned the vehicle, but he was later arrested.
Barrass, of Brickfield Close in Newport, has featured on Island Echo many times over the years for his long list of driving offences, including no less than 5 pursuits since 2018 alone. His record of driving offences goes back some 11 years.
In August 2019, Joe was sentenced to 14 months in prison and given a 3 year 7 month driving ban for a pursuit near Ryde on 4th July 2019. In August 2018, he was jailed for 11 months and banned for almost 2-and-a-half years following pursuits on 17th June 2018 and 15th July 2018.
Barrass accepts that his driving is criminal, but argues whether it is dangerous. Previously, Joe said he committed crimes to show he could do anything an able-bodied person could do having been born with just 1 arm.
Judge Melville sentenced him to 16 months in prison, suspended for 2 years, and handed down a 3-year driving ban. Barrass must also remain at his residence between 21:00 and 06:00 for a period of 3 months, complete 80 hours of unpaid work and pay a £156 surcharge. He must also complete 30 rehabilitation days.