A ‘completely selfish’ driver smashed into the back of a driving instructor’s car while a young learner was taking a lesson, as he tried to escape from the police.
Warwick Crown Court heard the A444 crash left the instructor so shaken he is considering a career change.
Driver Damian Ali (19) of Smith Street, Foleshill, Coventry, was jailed for 14 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, possessing cannabis and having no insurance.
Prosecutor Paul Fairley said police owere on patrol in Coventry Road, Bedworth, when they had information that a stolen silver Mondeo had triggered an ANPR camera.
They headed to the A444 where they saw the Mondeo, stolen a month earlier and on false number plates, waiting at red traffic lights.
Ali say them and drove through red lights, weaving between traffic towards Nuneaton.
At a roundabout, Ali smashed into the back of a blue Toyota Yaris in the nearside lane and a black VW Golf in the middle lane.
He jumped out of the Mondeo, ran across the busy road and onto the island where he was arrested and was found to have six small bags of cannabis in his shoulder bag.
He said he had borrowed the car from a friend, and denied knowing it had been stolen, explaining that he had tried to get away because of the cannabis and because he had no licence or insurance.
Mr Fairley pointed out the Yaris belonged to the driving instructor. Damage to the bodywork and axle which cost £6,000 to repair.
And Deputy Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed: “It has affected his confidence, not just that of his pupil. He says he is seriously considering a career change, because it’s the third such incident.
“We don’t know how the female pupil has reacted, but just imaging being a learner driver and that happening.”
Andrew Tucker, defending, suggested a suspended sentence, adding: “He recognises the stupid way in which he behaved, and that his addiction to cannabis is getting him into more and more trouble. He does seem to be showing some signs of maturing.”
Mr Tucker both Ali’s parents are disabled and only able to communicate using sign language, which he uses, and is able to help them, but his younger brothers do not.
But jailing Ali, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “You were completely selfish in your motivation to drive as dangerously as you did.
“..In order to get away from the police you drove through a number of red lights – and every time you did, you created a risk of a collision and catastrophic injury to people using the road.
“I want you and everyone else to understand that people who drive dangerously in this way will receive a custodial sentence.”