'˜Hopeless' driver led police on car chase for a mile

HOPELESS driver Jake Croucher has been banned from the roads after causing £2,000 of damage in a stolen car when chased by police.

Saturday, 23rd April 2016, 6:06 am
Portsmouth Crown Court

The 19-year-old was driving with three friends in the vehicle at the top of Eastern Road in Portsmouth when police spotted him.

The blue Mini was flagged as stolen and police pulled over to block Croucher’s way at 9.30pm on September 25.

But when police stopped, Croucher reversed, hitting the car behind, which shunted into another car.

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Croucher then drove off, colliding with the door of the police car, and causing a minor injury to an officer – but this was not deliberate, the court heard.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecuting, said Croucher then drove off down Grove Road, at one point speeding at 50mph across a blind junction in a 30mph zone.

Police chased Croucher for just over a mile as he drove down narrow streets, overtaking cars and dodging parked vehicles.

He eventually slowed down and gave up in High Street in Cosham, where he was arrested, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

Sentencing, Recorder Shamim Qureshi said: ‘You’re quite a danger on the roads.

‘If your friends want to sit with you in such circumstances that’s a matter for them but it’s a miracle you don’t get involved in a 
serious driving incident causing serious injury or death.’

The judge handed Croucher a 12-month term suspended for two years.

Mr Qureshi added: ‘You’re a hopeless driver, so try to pass your driving test.’

The judge said the overall damage, including writing off the car the teenager reversed into, cost around £2,000.

Croucher, of Parsons Close, Hilsea, had paid £400 for the car and had no idea it was stolen, the court heard.

The unemployed teenager was banned from driving for two years and must take an extended retest.

He must pay £250 compensation to the owner of the first car he hit, £250 to the owner of the stolen car and £320 costs. And he must pay a £120 victim fee.

Croucher, a dad-to-be, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving other than in accordance with a licence and failing to stop.

He admitted what he did to police in an interview after he was arrested.