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Teenager who ran red light where schoolchildren were waiting during police chase is spared jail

PUBLISHED: 09:55 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 20 March 2018

Part of the police chase happened on Bentley Drive, on the Parkhill estate, in Lowestoft.  Picture: Archant.

Part of the police chase happened on Bentley Drive, on the Parkhill estate, in Lowestoft. Picture: Archant.

Archant

A teenager who drove over a red traffic light at a busy junction where schoolchildren were waiting during a police chase has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight into custody.

A police officer in an unmarked car in Lowestoft mid-afternoon on January 3 saw a black Ford Fiesta being driven by 18-year-old Tyler Ezobi and was aware that the vehicle was stolen, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He alerted other officers and an officer in a marked police car saw the Fiesta near the A47 Yarmouth Road and activated the siren and blue flashing lights on his vehicle, said Joanne Eley, prosecuting.

“It was clear to the officer he had no intention of stopping,” she said.

As Ezobi approached a roundabout at Bentley Drive he overtook a vehicle causing oncoming traffic to take avoiding action and in Millenium Way he drove at 60mph in a 40mph limit and drove in the middle of the road.

As he approached a busy junction where a number of schoolchildren were waiting to cross, he went onto the wrong side of the road and drove through a red light.

Ezobi continued driving at excessive speed along Gorleston Road and Oulton Street and then went along Hall Road in the direction of Blundeston.

As he negotiated a left hand bend he lost control of the Fiesta and went into a spin before mounting a grass verge and coming to a halt.

Ezobi, 18, of Sands Lane, Lowestoft, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

He was sentenced to eight months youth detention suspended for 12 months and a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The teenager was also banned from driving for 12 months.

Sentencing him Recorder Richard Gordon QC said the manner of his driving could have had disastrous consequences and resulted in the death of a young child or other road user.

Steven Dyble for Ezobi, said his client had no previous convictions and he asked the court to consider passing a suspended sentence.

He said Ezobi had a troubled upbringing and had expressed genuine remorse.

Mr Dyble added that he was currently sleeping in his grandmother’s garage and needed to have settled accommodation.

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