A man has been jailed for 10 months after taking his girlfriend’s car, driving at high speed in a residential area and then crashing it into a street lamp.
23-year-old Ryan Dowson had argued with his girlfriend after a night out at a social club in Hartlepool. Following the row, Dowson took the spare set of keys to his girlfriend’s Nissan Qashqai and drove off. He was seen speeding through the town at speeds of up to 80mph before misjudging a turn, losing control and crashing into a lamppost.
At Teeside Crown Court, prosecutor Jenny Haigh explained how a police officer had approached the car and, as he did so, Dowson lurched the car back and revved the engine. The officer responded by breaking a window, distracting Dowson so his colleague could reach in and remove the keys from the ignition.
Dowson was then breathalysed and failed the test, but latterly refused to take another. At a later date, he then admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, failing to provide a specimen, and having no insurance.
Stephen Constantine, in mitigating for the unemployed Dowson, said that he was “contrite and remorseful”, and that he had an opportunity for employment. However, this was not enough to persuade Judge Howard Crowson to suspend the sentence, saying he had driven “very quickly, very badly.” Dowson was already disqualified from driving.
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