Dangerous driving teen’s curfew
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