Dan­ger­ous driv­ing teen’s cur­few

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A teenage joyrider who led the po­lice on a high-speed chase across miles of coun­try roads has been con­victed of dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

The 17-year-old from Ash­ford, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, failed to stop his Ford Fi­esta at junc­tion 11 of the M20 near Westen­hanger on Fe­bru­ary 16 this year. The boy sped through nar­row lanes which took him through the vil­lages of Stowt­ing, Brabourne and Brook, be­fore he was fi­nally brought to a stop at the Wye level cross­ing.

Wit­nesses de­scribed see­ing how he was brought to a halt with a po­lice Land Rover ram­ming the Fi­esta while other po­lice cars boxed in the car to pre­vent him es­cap­ing.

Wye in­de­pen­dent Cllr Noel Oven­den’s wife was among those who wit­nessed the fi­nale to the chase.

Cllr Oven­den said: “My wife was wait­ing at the cross­ing and saw the dra­matic end of this in­ci­dent. The po­lice took no chances and, hav­ing boxed in the Fi­esta, they en­sured that the driver could not use it to en­dan­ger any more road users.

“For­tu­nately no­body was hurt but this car chase high­lights a haz­ard that any of us can face when we use the nar­row ru­ral lanes, es­pe­cially those that con­nect to the M20. Walk­ers, cy­clists and horse riders are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble.”

The boy, who was 16 at the time of the in­ci­dent, was charged with dan­ger­ous driv­ing and had been due to ap­pear be­fore Folke­stone Youth Court on Tues­day, May 17.

But he failed to show up to court, lead­ing to a war­rant for his ar­rest, and was later picked up by of­fi­cers and ap­peared in court on Tues­day last week. Mag­is­trates placed him un­der cur­few for three months and or­dered him to complete 200 hours of un­paid work as part of a two-year youth re­fer­ral or­der.

He also faced other charges from un­re­lated of­fences, and was granted fur­ther time to pay a £50 un­paid fine, and will have to pay a £100 penalty for crim­i­nal dam­ages.

He was also made to pay £85 court costs.

The level cross­ing at Wye, where the teenager was stopped

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