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

Denis Smith, aged 60, managed to evade capture using defensive driving techniques learnt from his time serving in the Army in Northern Ireland.

He was traced through his registration number to his residential address at the girls' school and arrested in bed, shortly after the incident in December.

He refused to take a breath test, telling officers "There's no point. I know I'm well over the limit."

The judge took Mr Smith's distinguished military record into consideration when deciding on the sentence.

He handed down an eight-month jail term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to undertake 180 hours of unpaid community work.

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

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 and is longer employed at Malvern St James."