Arjundeep Saini initially told police officers that a ‘fox’ had caused him to lose control of the vehicle as he ploughed into the Clarendon Building, having sped down Parks Road.

CCTV showed the shocking moment the 22-year-old’s personalised-plate BMW mounted the steps of the Clarendon Building in Broad Street and came to rest some two storeys beneath what is thought to be the statue of Melpomene, one of the nine Greek muses whose leaden figures adorn the 300-year-old university building.

It was around 3am on the morning of August 28. Saini’s vehicle had been clocked around 15 minutes earlier doing ‘at least 70mph’ through the 20mph zone on Park End Street.

Prosecuting the case at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (August 31), Sarita Basra played footage from a camera on Broad Street.

It showed the high-powered vehicle coming from the direction of Parks Road, the same street where in 2016 a speeding driver died after crashing into a tree in the early hours of the morning.

Saini’s BMW mounted the steps of the Clarendon Building and came to a rest in front of the university building’s imposing portico.

Ms Basra told the court: “Police were deployed and the defendant was arrested.

“He told the police officers at the scene initially that a fox had come out and that had caused the accident.”

The young driver later answered no comment to questions put to him in his police interview.

‘Lots’ of other video clips had been collected by the police showing his driving in the run-up to the crash, the court was told.

On one occasion he had sped across a small roundabout ‘without any care for the persons crossing the road straight after’, the prosecutor said.

Ms Basra added: “The main misbehaviour in this case is the speeding when it wasn’t safe to do so in a car that was outside of his control.”

Saini, of Banbury Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to dangerous driving. He had no previous convictions.

Oxford Mail: Arjundeep Saini crashed into the Clarendon Building after 'showing off' to friends and speeding

Sentencing him to six months’ imprisonment suspended for a year-and-a-half on Thursday, Judge Maria Lamb told Saini: “I accept that one of the consequences of what you did that night is going to be the loss of your good name and the potential implications for your future career – and that may well be a lasting consequence.

“But I can tell you this: it would be of a shorter duration than if you had hit and maimed or killed somebody sitting on those steps, as people very often do at that time in the morning.”

Earlier, Helen Dawson said her client had kept out of trouble in the year since the offence was committed and had completed his final year of university.

He was anxiously awaiting the outcome of the court proceedings, she said. “He was hoping for a career in London, in banking, looking at the degree he completed or was hopeful of undertaking a masters degree. He’s put any immediate decisions on hold.”

In a letter, he said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the disappointment he had caused his loved ones and apologised for his behaviour.

Judge Lamb imposed a six month curfew as one of the conditions of the suspended sentence, telling Saini: “You can do more constructive things in the early hours of the morning than showing off to friends and companions you are driving.”

He must do up to 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days with the probation service, pay £425 in prosecution costs and was banned from the roads for two years. He will have to pass an extended retest before he can get his licence back.

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