Dangerous Rowlands Castle driver who did not think his driving was 'too bad' after nearly hitting pedestrian during police chase is jailed

A DANGEROUS driver who did not think his driving was ‘too bad’ after a police chase that saw him weave in and out of traffic, go the wrong way on roads and nearly hit a pedestrian was jailed.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 1:42 pm

Menace James Corcoran, 52, was branded ‘highly dangerous’ and someone with ‘absolute disregard’ to others after a 26-minute police pursuit from Havant to Petersfield on May 11 around 2pm.

Portsmouth Crown Court was shown police dashcam footage of the defendant speeding in a stolen red Citroen C3 as officers pursued him.

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James Corcoran who was jailed for 12 months for dangerous driving. Pic: Hants police

The video showed Corcoran accelerate through residential areas, country roads, the A3(M) where police were forced to speed at 110mph, and Petersfield town centre.

On one occasion after a near miss, an officer in pursuit declared: ‘No damage…we’re alive.’

On another occasion after Corcoran sped at 45mph in a 30mph road causing a pedestrian to sprint across the road, the officer added: ‘Narrowly avoided a member of the public.’

After going the wrong way over Station Road, Petersfield, a police car attempted to block the road to stop Corcoran - before he weaved off the road round the vehicle while still being followed by the police car in pursuit.

Later on the driver even attempted to lull officers into thinking he was handing himself in when he pulled to a stop on a residential road with police then stopping behind. But as officers were getting out of the car, Corcoran suddenly sped-off before performing a U-turn in the road and screeched off.

A short time later the officer in pursuit said the ‘vehicle is going from side to side’ before adding: ‘It’s very erratic.’

Police finally stopped Corcoran before he was arrested.

Corcoran, of Durrants Road, Rowlands Castle, admitted driving dangerously, driving with no licence and no insurance.

The court heard how the defendant had numerous convictions for driving offences including aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence, taking a vehicle without consent.

He appeared in court in January for further driving matters including driving with no licence before declaring to probation he had never had a licence and had never passed his theory test.

Judge William Ashworth said: ‘You are persistently highly dangerous and have absolute disregard for everyone else.

‘You told probation you didn’t think your driving was too bad. That is ridiculous.’

The court heard Corcoran was in ‘ill health’ with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

But the judge said there was ‘no strong mitigation’ and ‘no point’ in any other sentence than immediate jail with the defendant ‘unlikely to change’.

He added: ‘You are a high risk to other road users.’

Corcoran was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for 10 years.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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