Van driver jailed after police chase
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.