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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Driver given final chance to stay out of trouble

A young man who drove dangerously along two streets, pursued by police, has been given one last chance to show he can stay out of trouble.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Curtis Kirkbride, 23, pleaded guilty to an offence of dangerous driving in Whitehaven, as well as driving without insurance, and failing to stop when ordered to do so by a serving police officer.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson described how the defendant, of Kinniside Avenue, Whitehaven, was spotted behind the wheel of a Honda Civic by police officers in a patrol car shortly before mid day on October 12 last year.

As the officers illuminated their car’s blue lights and began to follow, Kirkbride accelerated away, driving at about 40mph in Meadow Road, which has a speed limit of just 30mph.

As his car reached the brow of a hill on Whinlatter Road, he again accelerated harshly and overtook another car on the wrong side of the road.

“The officers then decided to stop pursuing him in the interests of public safety,” said Mr Rogerson.

He pointed out that the area is residential with a primary school nearby. Within a few hundred yards, Kirkbride’s car mounted a grassy verge, and he lost control as his car slewed sideways.

Still driving too fast, he managed to regain control before driving off, turning right across a blind junction.

Marian Weir, for Kirkbride, said he realised he had let himself and his family down but she said he faced a cycle of going into and out of custody which had made it hard for him to get proper treatment for the condition known as ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

At the time of the offence, his lifestyle had been chaotic, and last year there had been two arson attacks on his property in Whitehaven.

“He is adamant he wants to lead an offence-free lifestyle,” she said, pointing out that Kirkbride now has a partner, who has a one-year-old son.

She added that he had been drug-free for the last two and a half months and was motivated to change his life.

Judge Peter Davies said he would defer passing sentence until July 5 to give the defendant a chance to change his ways. He told Kirkbride: “It’s time you grew up, and time that you started behaving properly.”

He said that Kirkbride must take monthly tests to show that he could remain drug free, and must refrain from committing any further offences. The judge also imposed an interim driving disqualification.

Kirkbride also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence.

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