Driver who reversed in front of police ‘was late’

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A motorist who reversed out in front of a police car before speeding off and reaching speeds of 80mph as he drove dangerously through Grassmoor was late for work, a court heard.

Police had to brake sharply to avoid a collision after a Ford Fiesta reversed out of a driveway in front of them as they drove along Chesterfield Road at about 5.30am on March 8.

Jennifer Fitzgerald prosecuting said it was cold and icy and officers could not see the driver, who was later found to be Steven Brian Reader, 24, as the side and rear windows had not been cleared of frost.

The car sped along North Wingfield Road, which has a 30mph limit, accelerating to approximately 50mph.

“It approached a mini roundabout without slowing or checking if there were any other vehicles,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

The court heard that the Fiesta continue to accelerate and failed to slow down for a further mini roundabout, zebra crossing or when the road narrowed due to parked cars.

Instead the speed kept increasing so the vehicle was travelling in excess of 80mph.

“At which point police could see a pedestrian approaching a zebra crossing the Fiesta went straight through without slowing,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

Reader was stopped and when interviewed explained to police that he had not wanted to be late for work.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared before magistrates in Buxton on Monday.

Kirsten Collings defending said: “What we know it that is was 5.30am and fortunately there were very few people around.

“He was very open with police, he was late for work. The car was fully insured, taxed and had an MOT.

“He has a boss who doesn’t take kindly to people being later for work. On this particular morning he made the wrong decision balancing getting to work on time and driving in that manner.

“Immediate custody would be catastrophic. He would lose his job, be unable to support himself and it would have massive consequences for his future.”

She said that Reader, who had no previous convictions, would be paying for the mistake he made for many years in terms of insurance.

Magistrates Robert Watmough describing the driving as ‘outrageous’ said: “Clearly you can’t go through a residential area at up to 80mph at any time of day. You had a total disrespect or concern for pedestrians and road users.”

However he said as Reader had no previous convictions and had be in employment since he left school they were not going to jail him.

Instead Reader, of Chesterfield Road, was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for 20 months and will have to take an extended driving text. He must also pay £85 costs and a £60 government surcharge.