Teenager leads police on high-speed car chase

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A teenager who stole his mother’s car and led police on a high-speed chase through Stowmarket’s Cedars Park has been handed a suspended sentence.

Thomas Barclay, 19, of Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on January 15 having pleaded guilty to two offences of aggravated vehicle taking, one of dangerous driving, two of driving with no insurance, two of driving not in accordance with his licence and one of theft. He was handed six months custody in a Young Offenders Institution, suspended for 18 months.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said on October 4, Barclay had an argument with his parents and drove off from their Suffolk home in his mother’s Vauxhall Corsa.

Police were alerted and soon after an officer saw the car driving through Barking, near Needham Market.

When the Corsa stopped, the officer attempted to speak to Barclay who turned off the engine but then started it again, made an obsene gesture and sped off. Police gave chase and deployed a stinger device near Cedars Park, causing one of the car’s tyres to deflate.

But even after hitting another car, Barclay managed to drive a further three and a half miles at speeds of up to 70mph along the A1120 before officers forced him to halt on a verge.

Barclay was at the time on bail after taking his father’s car without permission.

The court heard that on October 24, Barclay, who had been drinking, stayed overnight at a friend’s home who left her car parked outside.

In the morning, she found the car’s wing mirror was damaged and that it was parked in a different spot. Fingerprints implicated Barclay, who had been the only other person with access to the key.

Mitigating, Jude Durr said Barclay had expressed genuine remorse and required help to address his problems.

As well as the suspended sentence, Barclay was banned from driving for a year, must do 80 hours of unpaid work and must participate in ‘Thinking Skills’ and alchohol treatment programmes.