Dangerous teen driver narrowly spared from jail after police pursuit
A teenager who has never passed his driving test bought a BMW and drove it down a pavement in a crowded high street as he fled from police.
Derby Crown Court recently heard how Jack Pringle, 18, of Independent Hill, Alfreton, drove the wrong way round a roundabout and on the wrong side of the road as he attempted to get away from officers.
The court was told how the 18-year-old drove at speed towards an elderly pedestrian with two of the wheels of his vehicle on a pavement, jumped a red light and almost caused a collision before turning into a cul-de-sac.
Recorder Heidi Kubik sentenced Pringle to nine months of custody suspended for 12 months.
She said: “This offence arose out of an appalling piece of driving. I make it perfectly plain that had you hit a pedestrian or crashed into another vehicle you would be going to custody.
“Even though you were disqualified from driving you went out two weeks before this offence and, for whatever reason, purchased this BMW.
“In your bid to escape from the pursuing police you drove half-on and half-off a crowded pavement which was busy with pedestrians.
“One of them said you alarmed her when you drove towards her at speed and she also said there was an elderly man close to where you were driving on the pavement.
“But on the other side of the coin I accept this was a short-lived piece of driving.”
Rebecca Coleman, prosecuting, during the Derby Crown Court case which was heard at Derby magistrates’ court, said the offence took place in Alfreton High Street during the early afternoon on January 30.
She said Pringle has passed his theory but not his practical driving exam and had been disqualified in November after admitting being caught driving without a licence or insurance.
Miss Coleman said police recognised the teen as a disqualified driver in Mansfield Road and turned around to try and stop him.
She said: “He set off, first driving on the wrong side of a bollard at a roundabout then on to Alfreton High Street passing cars on the wrong side of the road and causing them to take evasive action.
“He then got back on the right side of the road but the queueing traffic meant he chose to mount the pavement which was busy with shoppers and pedestrians.
“He then jumps a red light, turns into a cul-de-sac, abandons the car and tries to run from the police.”
Pringle was arrested and declined to comment during a police interview.
But the defendant pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance and a licence, and admitted driving while disqualified.
Joe Harvey, defending, said: “He has been diagnosed by his doctor with depression and the whole episode lasts for a maximum of three-quarters of a mile.
“He is 18 and the law will have him as an adult but he is an immature adult.”
Recorder Kubik disqualified Pringle from driving for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.