Teenage car thief drove at 60mph through Halifax streets

editorial image

A judge has warned a teenage driver that he will go to custody if he breaches a suspended sentence.

Benjamin Patchett, 19, of Whinney Hill Park, Brighouse, was sentenced to nine months in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years, after he admitted charges of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving.

Bradford Crown Court heard today (Friday) how the teenager drove off in a friend’s Rover car in the early hours of November 23 last year and was pursued by a police vehicle after failing to stop.

Prosecutor Richard Davies said Patchett reached speeds of 60mph as he drove around streets in Halifax, but eventually he slowed the vehicle down to about 10mph before jumping out as it travelled along All Souls Road.

Mr Davies said the car continued to roll and struck a lamp-post.

Patchett, who had been drinking alcohol, tried to run off but he was quickly detained.

After his arrest Patchett said he panicked when he was spotted by the police.

Judge Jonathan Rose, who also banned Patchett from driving for 18 months, said he had no right to take the car that night and he had toyed with the possibility of killing or seriously injuring someone by his driving.

The judge said he had decided to suspend the custodial sentence because he believed there was still time to save Patchett from himself.

“But this is the last chance you are going to get,” the judge warned him.

“I reserve any breaches to myself and I will not give you another chance.”

Patchett will have to do 200 hours unpaid work as part of the order and he must also take an extended re-test before lawfully driving again.

“You’ve had a very lucky escape on this occasion,” said Judge Rose.

“If I see you again you will not escape.”