Man jailed for dangerous driving - Bedford

07/10/2015

A man, who led police on a car chase through the centre of Bedford, has today, Wednesday, 07 October 2015, been jailed for 20 months.

Sean McCann collided with 10 other vehicles during the pursuit and five members of the public were injured.

At Luton Crown Court Judge Michael Kay QC said it was one of the worst cases of its kind he had come across.

The court heard how on 26 March this year McCann attended Bedford Prison to collect some property. Because of his previous criminal record he was known to staff at the jail. Prison officers could also smell alcohol on McCann and when he was seen to leave at around 2pm and get behind the wheel of a Renault Laguna, a call was made to police.

Gabriella McAvock prosecuting said a police officer set off in a police car for the prison and saw the Laguna close to Greyfriars Police Station. She said the police officer began following the car and activated its blue lights to get it to pull over. Miss McAvock said McCann briefly stopped, but then set off again and this time tried to get away from the police car.

The court was told the scene of the dangerous driving that then followed was Midland Road and Prebend Street. The Laguna mounted pavements scattering pedestrians, it collided with a traffic island, and collided with 10 other cars. As the chase continued it undertook a vehicle and swerved to miss other cars.

The prosecutor said five people were injured as a result and children had been passengers in some of the cars the Laguna struck. The Laguna struck one vehicle with such force it was shunted backwards and hit a pedestrian about to cross the road.

Judge Kay was told that a second police car took up the chase and eventually McCann stopped the car outside County Hall and made his way into the grounds. He was quickly caught and arrested.

McCann, a 31-year-old father of four from Dines Way, Wilstead near Bedford pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen of breath and driving without insurance or a valid licence. He also admitted jumping his bail and going on the run for four months.

Miss Sally Jackson, defending, said McCann had a long standing addiction to drugs, which had been behind much of his offending in the past, but now at the age of 31 was determined to turn his life around and kick the habit. "He regrets what happened this day," she told the court and went on: "He is now saying enough is enough."

Passing sentence on McCann Judge Kay told him: "It really is one of the worst examples of dangerous driving I have seen." He went on: "This was a truly atrocious piece of driving, it was highly dangerous and could have resulted in serious injury, even death."

McCann was jailed for 20 months and disqualified from driving for two years and his licence endorsed. He was told he must take an extended test before he gets behind the wheel of a car again.

The Judge said he hoped McCann now had the motivation to beat the drug addiction that has blighted his life. "It's really up to you now. You say you want to come off drugs and stop offending - it's down to you and if you have got the motivation. I genuinely hope you achieve it."

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