A young father who deliberately reversed into two police vehicles in a stolen van during a high speed chase through residential streets has been jailed.
Martin Maughan, of Nuttall Street, Accrington, ‘drove like an idiot’ trying to flee police during the 20-minute chase, which saw a stinger deployed, parked vehicles damaged and a pedestrian nearly struck at 60mph.
Burnley Crown Court also heard how for nearly half the nine-mile pursuit, the stolen Mercedes Van only had three wheels after one was lost going fast round a bend.
Maughan, 22, and a teenage accomplice, both pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking.
Hugh McKee, prosecuting, told the court how Maughan and the teenager, who can’t be named for legal reasons, stole the £7,000 van from a car park on Nuttall Street in Accrington on July 4 last year.
They were spotted by police in Burnley before the van twice ‘braked heavily and reversed into it at speed’, Mr McKee said. Another police car spotted the van 20 minutes later and managed to puncture one of its tyres by deploying a stinger.
Mr McKee said the van carried on through Hapton, Padiham, Altham and Clayton-le-Moors and during the chase ‘veered’ towards another police car and nearly hit a pedestrian. Police called off the pursuit as it was ‘too risky’ but continued to search for the van using the ‘gauge marks’ in the road caused by the tyre rim.
Mr McKee said on Lower Barnes Street in Clayton, Maughan drove towards another police car ‘as if to collide with it’ but veered off at the last moment.
He also caused ‘substantial damage’ to a parked Skoda and Peugeot on Duke street before abandoning it once a police helicopter was called to the area.
Maughan and the teenager were later found lying topless in a skip.
David Taylor, defending Maughan, said he ‘drove like an idiot’ and ‘accepts he acted stupidly’.
He said: “He accepts full responsibility for the events and doesn’t blame the co-defendant who was a passenger.”
Maughan was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for three years. The teenager was given a youth rehabilitation order with 180 hours unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Recorder Paul Reid QC said it was a ‘miracle’ no one was killed.