A motorist has been given a suspended sentence after he crashed a stolen car into another vehicle causing whiplash injuries to two of the passengers inside.
Sentencing Joshua Hunter at Leeds Crown Court Judge Malcolm Davis-White QC said the Vauxhall Corsa driven by him on November 11 last year had been stolen from outside a house in Bank Street, Dewsbury, following a burglary earlier that day.
“There is no suggestion you were involved in either of those events however 12 hours later at approximately 4pm a friend of your brother prevailed on you to drive it.”
On his journey Hunter then drove out of a junction on to Bradford Road, Dewsbury, crashing into a VW Golf and sending it into collision with a Mini travelling on the other side of the road.
The judge said an Astra had pulled out of the same junction before Hunter, narrowly missing the Golf. “I am satisfied you were either chasing or in convoy with that Astra.”
After the collision Hunter and his passenger had got out and run off. Two of the passengers including a child, in one of the other vehicles suffered whiplash injuries, the Corsa worth £12,000 was written off and the other two vehicles had around £1,000 damage.
Judge Davis-White said he had seen video footage taken by a witness which showed Hunter taking a bottle from the footwell of the Corsa and one witness described smelling alcohol as he ran away.
“I am satisfied you had been drinking alcohol, I cannot be sure precisely how much, nevertheless it was smelt and judging by the bottle it was affecting your judgement.”
One of the victims of the collision recognised Hunter and he was later arrested.
The judge said it was another aggravating feature that at the time Hunter was on licence having been released from custody in February last year for burglary with intent.
The recent offence passed the custody threshold but after hearing from probation that Hunter was finally beginning to mature he was prepared to give him one last chance.
Anastasis Tassou, representing Hunter, said he had kept out of trouble since last November and had found work as a labourer.
Hunter, 22 of George Street, Dewsbury, was found guilty by a jury of aggravated vehicle taking. He was given 16 months in prison suspended for 18 months, 150 hours unpaid work, 25 rehabilitation activity days. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.