3rd Jul, 2022

Coventry teenage driver led police on 90mph chase through residential streets

Editorial Correspondent 20th Aug, 2018 Updated: 20th Aug, 2018

A YOUNG man stopped twice during a chase at speeds of up to 90mph through residential streets and tried to reverse into the pursuing police car before speeding off again.

After eventually turning into a dead end, Justin Scott-Horscroft ran off into some woodland – and swore at the police dog that tracked him down as he tried to hide in a tree.

But despite the life-threatening nature of his driving, Scott-Horscroft escaped being jailed when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

Scott-Horscroft, 19, of Charter Avenue, Canley, Coventry, who also admitted being uninsured and possessing a bladed article, was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for 15 months, after which he will have to take an extended test before getting his licence back.

Prosecutor Amrisha Parathalingam said that on July 18 police officers were on patrol in Coventry when they saw a blue Vauxhall Astra at traffic lights in Station Avenue.

There had been a previous attempt by other officers to stop the car because a check had revealed it was uninsured, and as they pulled behind it, Scott-Horscroft sped away.

They followed the Astra into Broad Lane, where it reached 70 in the 30mph zone, and, ignoring the officers’ attempts to get him to stop, Scott-Horscroft continued along Spencers Lane.

In Turners Lane, still doing 70, he drove over a footpath and a grassed area into Banners lane where he went onto the wrong side of the road to avoid a member of the public, braking so hard that sparks flew from the brake discs.

Scott-Horscroft then suddenly braked at a sharp left-hand corner into Pickford Grange Lane, and as the officers came up behind him, he reversed in an attempt to ram the police car before speeding off again along Birmingham Road.

That road has a 40mph limit, but the officers were having to do 90-95mph to keep up with him before he again slammed on his brakes and tried to reverse into the approaching police car.

The police driver managed to swerve out of the way, and Scott-Horscroft sped off again, by now with his progress being monitored from a police helicopter.

As the police car got back behind him, he turned into a dead end road, with his way blocked by concrete bollards, at which he got out and ran to the Parkwood recreation area.

A lock knife was found in the car, and another officer arrived on the scene with a police dog called Arman which tracked him into a wood where he was found hiding in a tree.

As he climbed down and was arrested, Scott-Horscroft said he would have got away if it had not been for the dog, turning to Arman and swearing.

Miss Parathalingam added that Scott-Horscroft had several previous convictions for offences including taking a car without consent and two for aggravated vehicle taking.

Judge Sally Hancox commented: “You’ve got to wonder why on earth he didn’t just stop and be dealt with for no insurance. Instead he led them on a drive through residential areas doing up to three times the speed limit.”

Scott-Horscroft had been remanded in custody following his arrest, and his barrister Scott Coughtrie said: “He recognises there’s a high probability of him going back downstairs.”

But he explained that Scott-Horscroft had been ‘part of the gangland culture,’ and had initially assumed the unmarked BMW behind him ‘may have been part of that association.’

“It is right that when the officers put the sirens on, he knew only too well who was behind him, and he panicked.”

Mr Coughtrie added that Scott-Horscroft was due to become a father for the first time, and the thought that he may not be there to support his partner ‘is weighing heavily on his mind.’

Sentencing Scott-Horscroft, Judge Hancox told him: “The reason there’s a 30 limit in some parts of this country is because it’s where people live, where people may be crossing the road.

“The speed limit is 30 to give those people a fighting chance of getting out of the way if someone’s coming down the road.

“Just think, at that speed, if you’d seen a shadow stepping out. You wouldn’t have had a chance of stopping, and you would have been before the court for causing death by dangerous driving.

“You’re soon to have responsibility for your first child who you may be pushing across the road when an idiot comes round the corner at 90mph. On this occasion you were that idiot.

“This crosses the custody threshold, but I am going to give you one heck of a chance,” she added.

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