'Close run thing': Judge says teenage street-chase driver lucky not to be jailed

A banned teenage motorist narrowly avoided jail after taking police on a 70mph chase through residential streets in Castleford.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Kyan Lee Dawson was driving a Seat Leon with a space-saver spare tyre when he accelerated away from police, Leeds Crown Court was told.

The chase began at around 9.20pm on July 2 when the unmarked patrol car spotted the Leon pull out of Fryston Road and head towards Castleford, prosecutor Emily Hassell said.

They followed him as he reached 70mph before turning onto Bank Street at such speed that his tyres could be heard screeching.

Dawson drove at twice the speed limit along Middle Oxford Street.

Despite the blue lights being activated, the 19-year-old continued and reaching speeds of 60mph in 30mph zones on Middle Oxford Street and Smawthorne Avenue where he was forced to brake heavily, causing the tyres to smoke.

The chase continued onto Briggs Avenue before he turned into a back alleyway at speed. He continued onto Cannon Street, Grafton Street and King Street.

He was even forced to mount the pavement at one point to avoid a member of the public.

He got out and ran at King Street but was found minutes later hidden under a vehicle on Keystone Avenue.

He admitted what he had done during a police interview.

Dawson, of Regent Street, Castleford, admitted charge of dangerous driving and driving while banned.

In mitigation, Joseph Hudson said: "He is a very young man who had made some, quite frankly, dangerous decisions.

"It's fortunate that nobody was hurt and nothing was damaged."

He said that Dawson had a difficult upbringing but was hard working and was due to take over his father's Land Rover-repairing business.

The court was told that Dawson had already been banned from driving for failing to stop, driving without due care and attention and having no insurance in April, for which he was handed a nine-month ban.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC jailed him for eight months, but suspended it for 18 months, telling him it was "close run thing" that he avoided going directly into custody.

He said: "It's plain that you have had a number of personal issues in early life.

"Anybody would have sympathy for that but there does come a time when it's not possible to continue to rely on disadvantages in early life as substantial mitigation."

He was also given 160 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month driving ban.