Dunchurch teenager who wanted to 'drive like he'd seen in the movies' led police on 50-mile chase

He led the police on a dangerous chase for 50 miles

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 6:31 pm

A young man who ‘wanted to drive like he’d seen in the movies’ led the police on a 50-mile high-speed chase during which he drove through a motorway works access lane at 80mph.

Despite the serious nature of the offence, Karl Stott (19) of Hall Close, Dunchurch, Rugby, escaped being jailed when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.

Instead he was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, banned from driving for three years, and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a rehabilitation activity.

Karl Stott.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said that at shortly after 3am on Sunday March 15, Stott was driving a VW Polo from a retail park in Rugby where he had visited McDonalds with his girlfriend and another young woman in the car.

As a result of information from a member of the public, officers in a marked car intercepted him on Technology Drive.

They activated their blue lights and siren to indicate to him to stop, and when he failed to comply other officers pulled in front of the Polo when Stott stopped at a junction.

But he performed a U-turn and sped away, going through a red light in Technology Drive at 70mph as the police set off in pursuit, and joined the M6 southbound towards the M1 at 80 mph.

As one of the pursuing police cars overtook him to find a safe location to deploy a stinger, Stott undertook other vehicles using the hard shoulder.

“He continued to weave in and out of other vehicles, undertaking and overtaking at speeds between 80 and 100 mph. By now there were several police vehicles involved in the pursuit.

“He entered a roadworks section of the motorway which was subject to a 60 mph limit and continued to drive at 80 to 90 mph.

“Unsuccessful attempts were made to box the defendant in before he entered a works access only lane in the roadworks. He drove at 80 mph in that lane for several minutes before rejoining the main carriageway.”

After undertaking several vehicles, Stott reached a section of the M1 in which two lanes were closed.

“He drove in the closed lanes before rejoining the open lanes at 80 mph despite a speed limit of 40 mph,” said Mr Simpson.

Finally, as he approached junction 10 he pulled over.

Stott was arrested, and when he was interviewed he said he had not stopped for the police because he had been breathalysed many times and did not want to be again.

“He said he wanted to drive like he’d seen in movies,” said Mr Simpson, who added that Stott had no previous convictions or cautions.

Judge Anthony Potter heard mitigating circumstances regarding Stott's personal circumstances which led him to believe he had a lower level of culpability.

He also took into consideration Stott's good character with no previous convictions and that he was engaging with support and rehabilitation activities, while also working.

Sentencing Stott, Judge Potter told him: “About six weeks ago I sentencing someone who was a year older than you who had driven at a similar time of night in a similar area of the country with two passengers in her vehicle.

“She did not drive on a motorway, she did not approach the speeds you approached, but she managed to crash her car, and as a result of that one of the two people in her car did not get out alive.

“I can’t emphasise how lucky and how fortunate you are that you are not in that position, because your driving in March was quite appalling.

“I find it very difficult to understand how you didn’t crash your vehicle, and at the speeds you were doing, approaching 100 miles an hour, if there was a crash someone would have been seriously injured or killed.

“You were deliberately ignoring the speed limits and the road restrictions and ignoring the normal overtaking rules, and the police spent 50 miles trying to stop you.”