Van driver jailed af­ter po­lice chase

Accrington Observer - - LOOKING BACK - CHRIS GEE [email protected]­ @Ac­cring­tonNews

AVAN driver who led po­lice on a lengthy chase through res­i­den­tial streets and sped through a red light has been jailed.

Kevin Docherty, 22, of Bea­cons­field Street, Great Har­wood, ap­peared for sen­tence at Pre­ston Crown Court af­ter pre­vi­ously plead­ing guilty to charges of dan­ger­ous driv­ing, driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance and driv­ing with­out a li­cence.

Pros­e­cu­tor Robert Golin­ski told the court that at around 2.15pm on June 19 this year a po­lice ve­hi­cle pa­trol be­came sus­pi­cious of a white Tran­sit van at traf­fic lights on Whal­ley Old Road, Clay­ton-le-Moors as it had a loose reg­is­tra­tion plate.

When of­fi­cers sig­nalled for the van, which was be­ing driven by Docherty, to stop, he sped away and the of­fi­cers pur­sued.

Mr Golin­ski, said: “They used their blue lights but the van sped away, un­der­tak­ing an­other ve­hi­cle be­fore turn­ing left on to Dill Hall Lane, Church.

“The van later went through traf­fic lights at red caus­ing mo­torists to take eva­sive ac­tion and brake be­fore tak­ing a se­ries of turns through res­i­den­tial streets in the Ac­cring­ton area.”

Mr Golin­ski said that of­fi­cers es­ti­mated that Docherty was trav­el­ling at around 40mph through the streets on roads with a limit of 30mph.

At one point the van stopped and a fe­male pas­sen­ger got out be­fore the pur­suit con­tin­ued and the van made sev­eral more turns.

The chase came to an end when Docherty drove into a dead-end street and he sur­ren­dered to the pur­su­ing of­fi­cers.

Dur­ing a po­lice in­ter­view he an­swered ‘no com­ment’ to all ques­tions.

The court heard that Docherty had sev­eral pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, mainly for dis­hon­esty and was cur­rently serv­ing a three-year jail term for a bur­glary of­fence com­mit­ted in Leeds on July 27 this year.

The court heard that al­though the pur­suit was over an ex­tended pe­riod of time at no point did po­lice be­lieve the speeds Docherty was trav­el­ling in the van were so ex­ces­sive that they would aban­don the pur­suit.

Sen­tenc­ing Docherty, Recorder Richard Jones, said: “You ig­nored of­fi­cers and failed to stop caus­ing a chase and passed through a red light en­dan­ger­ing other road users and pedes­tri­ans.”

Docherty was sen­tenced to 10 months in prison, banned from driv­ing for three years and told he must take an ex­tended re-test be­fore tak­ing to the road again.

Kevin Docherty

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