A 22-year-old man has been banned from driving for a third time after he hit two cars while reversing with his door open. 

Tomas Michael Raghoo was told that he avoided a prison sentence by the skin of his teeth for offences including driving without due care or attention and failing to stop at the scene of a road accident. 

Raghoo was already disqualified from driving when on November 25 last year he attempted to overtake a queue of traffic waiting at a red traffic light on South Norwood Hill.

He pulled his silver BMW out of the lane and into oncoming traffic only to find a police car coming towards him. 

Prosecutor Henna Baig said: “The defendant continued to drive towards the police vehicle and officers had to break sharply to avoid a collision.” 

When the officers followed the vehicle and pulled it over Raghoo was seen scrambling into the back seat. He then told the police he hadn’t been driving, the court heard. 

“That was a lie,” Judge Gordon said. “You were searched and the car key was found in your pocket.” 

Raghoo was charged with driving while disqualified, driving dangerously, driving without insurance and breaching a suspended sentence order which had been made after a previous conviction for possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply. 

He appeared at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on January 10 where he pleaded guilty to the offences and was given another driving ban. 

However, just two weeks after that court date he got behind the wheel again, this time causing a crash. 

On the morning of January 28 a man was sitting in his parked vehicle on Davidson Road in Croydon when Raghoo’s BMW pulled up in front of him. 

A female got out the passenger side following what appeared to be an argument, Ms Baig said. 

Raghoo then reversed the BMW at speed while the passenger door was still open, ploughing into the man’s parked car before continuing back and hitting another vehicle. 

“It is really only good fortune that no injury was caused,” Judge Gordon said. 

He was charged with driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, driving without due care or attention and failing to stop at the scene of a road accident. 

At Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday (August 2) defence counsel for Raghoo, John Briant, set about trying to convince the judge not to immediately imprison his client. 

Mr Briant said Raghoo has an offer to study at university and is determined to turn his back on offending. 

“It seems that this young man has a chance to change thing. He might not have that chance again. He’s clear about the actions he took and the stupidity of what he did,” Mr Briant said. 

Judge Gordon gave Raghoo a year prison sentence, but decided to suspend it for two years. He emphasised that this was a very close decision. 

He told Raghoo: “I do not think you have particularly strong mitigation and I also query your prospect of rehabilitation. 

“However, I do take into consideration the effect an immediate custodial sentence would have on your mother due to your caring responsibilities for her.” 

Raghoo was also disqualified from driving for two years and will have to pass an extended retest before he can drive again.