Road rage attack led to a dangerous police chase
ROAD rage motorist Stewart Harrison tried to smash the windows of a security van and then led the police on a 70mph chase along residential streets.
He was only caught after going onto the pavement in a village street and hitting a police car which was blocking his way, Warwick Crown Court has heard.
Harrison, 43, of Grosvenors Court, Landor Road, Warwick, was jailed for ten months and disqualified for five years after pleading guilty to causing criminal damage and dangerous driving.
Prosecutor Ben Williams said that on-coming traffic had to stop to allow a security van to pull away after its crews had replenished a hole-in-the-wall cash machine in Warwick on February 15.
Impatiently Harrison, driving a yellow Mercedes, pulled out and went past the waiting traffic in front of the security van which had to stop.
The driver mouthed the word ‘idiot’ at Harrison who took offence and stopped, blocking the traffic, and got out and went over to the security van.
He punched the driver’s window with such force that the reinforced and bullet-proof window cracked.
When the driver just smiled at him he became even more enraged and went back to his vehicle before returning with a wheel brace with which he struck the reinforced windscreen, causing two cracks to that. Harrison then made off at high speed, but five or ten minutes later at about 10am police officers saw him in Bath Street, Leamington, and put on their blue lights and siren to get him to stop.
Instead he sped away and turned into High Street where he accelerated to 70mph, putting pedestrians in the area and other drivers at risk. He crashed into traffic bollards and a bus driver had to swerve to avoid a collision as Harrison raced along Radford Road and Southam Road.
When he reached Radford Semele the police tried to box him in, but he drove up onto the pavement, hitting the police car as he tried to get past it, and then accelerated away along Lewis Road towards the centre of the village.
Afterwards the police found him parked in a nearby lane, and he was still in an aggressive mood, threatening to knock out the security driver if he saw him again.
Mr Williams said Harrison had previous convictions for offences including robbery and matters of violence, and in November 2010 had been sentenced for a road rage incident.
On that occasion he kicked a 76-year-old woman’s car when she stopped in front of him in Stratford to park, pushed her 56-year-old daughter when she got out of the passenger side, and then threw a can at her which missed but hit the car.
Joseph Millington, defending, said Harrison’s dangerous driving had arisen out of a road rage incident, which showed an inability to cope with anger, and suggested he be given a suspended sentence with an anger management course.
But Recorder Barry Berlin commented: “The dangerous driving is nothing to do with anger management. It was simply avoiding capture by the police, and he drove straight at them and damaged their vehicle.”
He told Harrison: “I am urged to consider the question of anger management again, but I don’t think you would benefit from that. I think you’ve been given every possible chance.
“This was prolonged, persistent and very deliberate dangerous driving. You, in my judgement, are a danger to the public, to other road users and to yourself.”
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