Learner driver who crashed stolen car jailed - Bedford

09/08/2013

A learner driver who crashed a stolen car at high speed with three girl passengers inside told police he was surprised no one had died. Craig Baker even bragged that he had been going at 110 mph but a Judge said he doubted the 'R' registered Ford Fiesta would be capable of such a speed.

One of Baker's passengers was injured when the car crashed into a garden in Cardington Road, Bedford, but the others escaped unhurt.

Baker, 22, from Goldfinch Drive, Sandy, appeared at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 09 August 2013, where he admitted a charge of driving dangerously in a stolen car. He was jailed for a year and banned from driving for a year.

Neil King, prosecuting said the silver Fiesta was stolen in a burglary in June 2012. Two days later Baker was driving it in Bedford town centre. He was a provisional licence holder and had no insurance.

At 3.30 am he picked up three young women from the Park Inn hotel by arrangement to take them home to Biggleswade. He drove via Kempston to collect something for one of them.

"The passengers said he was driving fast and erratically. One told him he slowed down, but then they felt he was driving with his foot to the floor and they told him again to slow down. They told him they did not feel safe."

In Cardington Road, he clipped a kerb and spun off the road landing in a front garden. It was then he told them they needed to run because the car was stolen. One of the passengers was badly bruised, especially around her eye and unable to stand. The car was a write off.

He made various comments to police saying he "just flew" and was surprised no one was dead, but answered no comment during an interview.

Tim Nutley, defending said: "Mr. Baker today is a different man to the one who got in that car more than a year ago. He has matured and is working.

"He has also agreed a payment plan with the insurance company to cover the loss of the car."

Judge David Farrell QC said: "You knew full well you were in a stolen car, you had never passed a driving test and had no insurance, but you set about a piece of driving which was appallingly dangerous which was met with complaints by the passengers. They are lucky to be alive.

"Only immediate custody is appropriate."

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