A teenager who led police on a high-speed pursuit so dangerous that officers had to give up, has been spared jail.
Thomas Wayne Coffin had only been disqualified from driving 27 days before after taking a vehicle without consent and driving without insurance or a licence.
The 19-year-old of Primrose Street, Connah’s Quay, pleaded guilty to three charges including dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.
Mold Crown Court today heard how Coffin was seen driving a Vauxhall Corsa with a passenger in Caergwrle, Wrexham, during the afternoon of November 26 last year.
He started to increase his speed resulting in a police chase spanning over 2.5 miles.
Nicola Williams, prosecuting said Coffin continued driving while being pursued by police making a “series of sharp turns” into roads where pedestrians were present.
He reached speeds of 50mph on a 30mph road at Rhyddyn Hill and “braked heavily,” travelling onto the offside of the carriageway.
“At that point the officer declared the pursuit was too high-risk to continue and had to terminate it,” Ms Williams said.
The officer saw Coffin travel over a junction “at speed while contravening a stop sign” before losing sight of him.
A short while later, his vehicle was found abandoned in a hedgerow off the road along Dark Lane having collided with a metal barrier.
Coffin was later arrested and admitted he’d previously been disqualified from driving by magistrates and was in breach of a conditional discharge after taking a vehicle without consent and driving without a licence.
The teenager, who has three previous convictions nine offences and only holds a provisional licence having never passed his driving test, said during interview “it was all a bit of a blur and had panicked at the time”.
Dafydd Roberts defending said: “Mr Coffin is under no illusions that his liberty is very much at risk and he hasn’t helped himself by failing to comply initially with a pre-sentence report, but I would respectfully invite the court to consider whether there is an alternative to sending him to HMP Berwyn.”
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Mr Roberts said Coffin pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and co-operated with the police.
He said he has matured enough now to understand the seriousness of the situation and has the ability to change his ways.
He’s been a working man since the age of 16, has a baby on the way and the prospect of prison has been a “wake up call”.
Judge Niclas Parry said: “On October 13, 2020 you appeared before the court for taking a vehicle without consent and driving without a licence and insurance.
“You were disqualified from driving.
“27 days later, on a conditional discharge, whilst disqualified, without insurance, you were involved in a police chase over 2.5 miles ignoring a siren and blue lights, involving high speed in a built up area.
“Your driving was so dangerous the police gave up chasing you because they thought it was too dangerous for the public for them to do that.
“You had a collision, crashed the car, you left the scene, you caused a risk to yourself but also to a passenger.”
Coffin was handed an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
The judge added: “I can see from your reaction you’re hugely relieved, you can guarantee that’s the last chance you’ll ever be given by any court.”
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