Derbyshire teen jailed after 100mph police pursuit ended in serious crash

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

A Derbyshire teenager who caused serious injuries to his two passengers when he crashed his car during a high speed police pursuit has been sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders institution.

Steven Thomas, 19, reached speeds of up to 100mph as he tried to evade a pursuing police officer in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Thomas eventually lost control on the A158 at Hagworthingham and smashed in to a road sign and tree.

A 13-year-old girl in the back of the car suffered several fractures to her back and was transferred to Nottingham Queen's Medical Centre where she spent five days.

A pregnant woman in the front passenger seat, who had warned Thomas to slow down, also suffered a large laceration to her skull which required 50 stitches and was taken to hospital in Hull. She gave birth to a healthy child several months later.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Thomas was trying to evade police either because he was speeding or the fact there was 10,000 counterfeit cigarettes in his boot.

Mr Howes told the court: "He was trying to evade a police pursuit on the A158 Horncastle to Skegness road, and because of his excessive speed he lost control at Hagworthingham.

"It caused significant damage to his car which collided with a tree and there were significant injuries to his two passengers."

The court heard Thomas was driving to his mother's caravan in Chapel St Leonards when a police officer noticed his speeding car in Horncastle.

Mr Howes said the officer chose to follow him and put on his blue lights when he saw Thomas cross a solid white line to overtake another vehicle.

The officer estimated that at one point during the pursuit he was travelling at 100mph and Thomas seemed to be still pulling away.

Andrew Vout, mitigating, said Thomas was already serving his own sentence after suffering a serious brain injury in the crash.

Mr Vout told the court: "He has a section of his skull missing which means he has to wear a helmet, he is at grave danger if he falls."

The court heard Thomas still faces a further operation to insert a plate over his brain at some point in the future. He also needs therapy for slow speech and poor balance.

Passing sentence Recorder Paul Mann QC said he had reluctantly concluded that there needed to be an immediate sentence of imprisonment despite the injuries suffered by Thomas.

The judge said: "Having seen the photos of the wreckage, it is a wonder any of you survived."

Thomas, of Scott Drive, Somercotes, near Alfreton, admitted two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on 14 May last year.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment in a young offenders institution, banned from driving for two and half years and ordered to take an extended driving test.