Teenage learner driver led police on a ‘dangerous’ 60mph chase

Court
Court

A teenage driver decided to nip to his girlfriend to see his baby - and ended up with his first car being crushed.

L-driver Callum Knight failed to have a motorist supervising him for the short trip from Langley Mill, Nottingham Crown Court heard on Friday.

A police officer spotted the Volkswagen Golf in Heanor because heavy smoke was coming the exhaust. Knight failed to stop and that prompted a 60mph chase. He must now do 120 hours unpaid work.

The 18-year-old admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and breaching the terms of his licence by being alone in the vehicle.

Judge Steven Coupland told him: “In June you made a stupid decision to drive this car when you were not licensed to drive it. When police saw you, you made an even bigger and more stupid decision.

“From a relatively minor offence, you panicked and committed one far more serious. The way you drove was incredibly dangerous. It is lucky nobody was injured and no damage was caused.”

Knight, of Bridge Street, Langley Mill, was given six months in detention, suspended for a year. He was banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take a trickier test if he wants to drive.

Ian Way, prosecuting, said the VW Golf was “smoking heavily from the exhaust” when pulling away from a college in Heanor.

As a police officer began to follow, the vehicle pulled into the car park of a pub in Heanor Market Place before coming out almost immediately.

It went along High Street before turning onto Abbot Street with police sirens and blue lights in operation. It reached 60mph on Loscoe Denby Lane, where the speed limit is 30mph.

Eventually Knight turned into Parson’s Court, a dead end, where he was detained at the end of the incident on June 8. The weather was dry and bright, the court heard.

Mr Way added: “The car was his and it was the first time he had driven it alone.

“He accepted he was aware of the police presence and the fact they wanted him to stop. He said he was sorry.” Knight had never been in trouble before.

Errol Ballentyne, mitigating, said Knight had been planning to visit his girlfriend and their baby, who live “a short distance away”.

The barrister told the court: “Other than smoke coming out of the exhaust, his driving was unremarkable when the police tried to stop him.

“He had a rush of blood to the head. It was a spur of the moment and once he came to his senses, he fully co-operated with the police.

“He shows full remorse and full contrition. This is a case where there is no damage, no injuries, full admissions followed by a guilty plea,” said Mr Ballentyne.

The VW was his first car but has now been crushed. Knight is hoping to get a job shortly, the court was told.