13th Dec, 2017

Coventry van driver in 100mph police chase jailed

A TRANSIT van driver went onto the verge at the edge of the M6 motorway after the police had tried to stop him by boxing him in – and then led officers on a 100mph pursuit.

After heading into Coventry at up to 70 in 30mph zones, Curtis Stewart failed to shake the police off, and was eventually stopped and arrested.

And at Warwick Crown Court, Stewart (26) of Selworthy Road, Holbrooks, Coventry, was jailed for a total of 23 months after pleading guilty to two separate offences of dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson said that on June 11 a man was driving his VW Jetta, with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, along Foleshill Road in Coventry.

When he reached an island he intended to go straight on, and went round the roundabout in the normal way.

But Stewart, who was travelling in the same direction in a Transit van and also wanted to go straight on, went the opposite way round the roundabout, against the flow of traffic.

“The two vehicles collided at the other side of the roundabout. There was extensive damage to the front corner of the Jetta, and an airbag was activated.

“The defendant did stop and get out. He apologised and laughed, and then drove off,” said Mr Clarkson.

Then on August 15, at four in the morning, officers on patrol in Birmingham were asked to follow and stop another Transit which was being driven erratically by Stewart along Soho Road.

Officers picked up the Transit after it had joined the M6, and began to follow it from junction 5 as it headed south at speeds of up to 95mph.

Stewart was overtaking and undertaking other traffic, swerving from side to side and going onto the hard shoulder, so police vehicles attempted to stop him by boxing him in.

“The defendant realised what was going on, and went onto the hard shoulder and then onto the verge to get away.

“He was stopped, but reversed back off the verge and then carried on down the motorway at up to 100.”

Stewart came off the M6 at junction 3 and headed towards Coventry on the A444 before crossing two sets of lights at more than 70mph after reaching the 30mph zone.

He went to wrong way round a roundabout again, but was stopped in due course in Longford Road, but not before overtaking over a bridge which had a blind crest, said Mr Clarkson.

When Stewart got out of the van, he smelled of alcohol, although there was no charge in relation to that, and he made no comment about either incident when he was interviewed.

Stewart was jailed for nine months for the incident in June, with a consecutive 14-month sentence for the later offence.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC also banned him from driving for four years and 11 months – so he will remain disqualified for four years after his release from prison.

Stewart will then have to take an extended driving test before he can get his licence back.

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