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The idiot Plymouth drivers who have put our lives at risk

The idiot Plymouth drivers who have put our lives at risk
07 Jul
5:23

A frightening number of dangerous drivers have appeared in court in Plymouth over the last 12 months – and these are just the ones who are lucky enough not to have seriously injured someone.

Bikers have been racing and car drivers have been racing away from the police at speeds sometimes topping 100mph.

One man even crashed with his toddler son in the car.

Drink is often involved or sometimes drivers and riders have just been plain stupid.

Here are a dirty half-dozen of the worst offenders.

Plymouth’s worst boy racer is caged after 100mph police chase

A boy racer who topped 100mph on the A38 was chased by police – forcing a pedestrian to jump into a hedge to avoid being hit.

Disqualified Connor Calam, aged 21, raced along residential streets and country roads at twice the speed limit before crashing into an oncoming vehicle, a court heard.

Connor Calam forced a pedestrian to press himself into a hedge to avoid being hit
Connor Calam forced a pedestrian to press himself into a hedge to avoid being hit
(Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

Calam, who has clocked up 20 driving offences in just four years, went the wrong way around a roundabout and overtook cars on the inside.

He even tried to reverse his Ford Focus with two wheels stuck in the hedge after crashing in a hamlet, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Calam was in breach of two suspended prison sentences, the latest imposed only a week before for fly-tipping.

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Peter Johnson said: “You engaged in some extremely dangerous driving. You drove at very high speeds, not only on the A38 but also on the A390.

“A pedestrian had to squeeze into a hedge to avoid being hit by you.”

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Calam, of Boundary Place, Widewell, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance on April 20.

Brian Fitzherbert, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Calam was driving at 112mph when he passed an unmarked police car on the A38 between Menheniot and Liskeard at about 8pm.

He added that the officer followed as Calam came off at Liskeard.

Mr Fitzherbert said: “He obviously realised he was being followed before the officer switched on his lights. He went the wrong way round a roundabout and accelerated hard on to the A390, overtaking cars on the offside of the road.

Waste dumped near Dartmoor by Calam

“He was driving at 80mph along a road with a 40mph limit.”

The barrister said that Calam sped up again to almost 100mph as he headed towards Callington, where there is a 60mph limit.

Mr Fitzherbert added that the Focus overtook two more cars, ignoring double white lines in the centre of the carriageway.

He said that Calam turned off through the village of Merrymeet and hurtled towards the hamlet of Pengover Green along a single-lane road.

Plymouth Crown Court
The case was heard at Plymouth Crown Court
(Image: File image)

Mr Fitzherbert added that a pedestrian crossing the road was fortunately alerted by sirens and managed to squeeze into a hedge as Calam raced past.

The court heard that Calam crashed into a Volvo coming in the opposite direction, though the extent of the damage caused was not known.

Mr Fitzherbert said: “The Focus was left with two wheels in the hedge but Calam was still revving his engine and trying to reverse out.”

The barrister said that Calam had amassed 20 driving offences in four years. Including two previous offences of driving while disqualified and one of dangerous driving.

Read the full story here

Bikers raced each other at more than 100mph along narrow country lanes

Two motorcyclists narrowly escaped jail after being caught on camera racing at speeds of up to 118mph on south Devon’s country lanes on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Plymouth Crown Court heard how Joshua Illingworth, aged 30, and 29-year-old Nicholas Pannell sped down country roads from Plymouth, through to Modbury and along the A379 and A381 towards Kingsbridge and Dartmouth until Pannell was thrown from his 1100cc KTM motorbike, through a hedge and into a field.

Prosecutor Nigel Hall highlighted how police had been called to the crash at around 3.30pm on July 2 last year.

Pannell had to be airlifted from the scene to Derriford Hospital after a call from Illingworth.

Nicholas Pannell (left) and Joshua Illingworth raced along South Hams roads
Nicholas Pannell (left) and Joshua Illingworth leave Plymouth Crown Court
(Image: Stuart Abel)

Searching the area 50metres from the crash officers found a GoPro which when viewed resulted in them requesting the pair attend a police station.

Mr Hall said it showed the pair, for 15 miles “effectively racing through lanes of Devon and South Hams”.

He told Recorder Simon Levene that so long was the list of violations during the ride that investigating officers gave up writing them all.

Nicholas Pannell leaves Plymouth Crown Court

He noted how the GoPro footage began with Pannell climbing aboard his powerful KTM bike and setting off from Plympton.

After filling up with fuel at Yealmpton he rides past Illingworth on his BMW S1000 at a junction leading to Yeo Park.

Within moments Illingworth passes him by and races ahead.

Mr Hall told the court that the digital speedometer on Pannell’s KTM at times reads 90mph in a 30mph zone, 102mph in a 40mph zone and a staggering 118mph on country roads where the national speed limit applied.

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Illingworth, of Venford Close, Paignton, and Pannell, of Stenlake Terrace, Prince Rock, both pleaded guilty at a hearing on January 3.

He sentenced each man to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He disqualified each man for 12 months.

He ordered each man to complete 180 hours of unpaid and pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Read the full story here

Drink-driving Royal Marine put life of his young son at risk before crashing

A drink-driving Royal Marine crashed his car with his naked two-year-old son belted into his passenger seat – leaving the toddler covered in scratches.

Decorated Afghanistan veteran Scott Puleston, aged 28, risked their lives by driving dangerously along several main city roads and crashed into the back of a car.

He was almost three times the legal alcohol while driving from one side of Plymouth to another.

The Lance-Corporal then came off the road, ploughing 80 yards across grass and narrowly missing a large tree, a court heard.

Scott Puleston arrives at Plymouth Crown Court, where he was jailed for 14 months
Scott Puleston arrives at Plymouth Crown Court, where he was jailed for 14 months
(Image: The Herald)

His two-year-old son was strapped dangerously into the front seat with the fitted belt of the Nissan Juke, even though there was a child seat in the rear.

The youngster’s naked body was badly scratched as he walked or was carried through thorny bushes near the A38, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

But Puleston could not explain why he drove while almost three times the alcohol limit and with the boy sitting in the front seat.

Jailing him for 14 months, Judge Paul Darlow said: “The dangerous driving was particularly bad. You drove for an extended period. You collided with another vehicle and did not stop for police.

Scott Puleston's badly-damaged Nissan Juke
Scott Puleston’s badly-damaged Nissan Juke
(Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

“Throughout the journey your two-year-old son was in front seat, naked and barely restrained by a seatbelt. He was submitted to a very real and serious risk of grave injury.”

Puleston, of Yeolland Park in Ivybridge, admitted dangerous driving on Bretonside, Exeter Street, Gydnia Road, Plymouth Road and on the Deep Lane sliproad on October 28 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to having 113 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the time. The legal limit is 35.

Puleston finally admitted child cruelty.

Read the full story here

Footage captures biker’s crazy driving along the pavement of a city street

This is the crazy few seconds when danger driver Lewis Shallcross sped along the pavement in a city street on a motorbike.

Shallcross, aged 22, threatened and abused a woman he had earlier attacked by dropping a television set on her head, a court heard.

Dramatic mobile phone footage filmed by victim Molly Sheridan was shown during his trial.

He admitted dangerous driving on March 4 last year.

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Amazingly, it is the second time thug Shallcross has been caught on camera driving a motorbike dangerously. He then filmed himself on a headcam attached to his helmet.

Miss Sheridan and her father Matthew said that Shallcross pulled up alongside the window of his car.

They said that he told them “You are dead” before pulling away, doing wheelies and swerving through traffic.

Shallcross admitted witness intimidation – and only accepted danger driving on the basis of the footage.

Lewis Shallcross was locked up for more than for six years for aggravated burglary
Lewis Shallcross was locked up for six years for aggravated burglary
(Image: Penny Cross)

An alarmed resident described it as a “road rage incident” and called the police.

He sped along the pavement of Old Laira Road for about 100 metres.

Shallcross was jailed for four and half years in total – but it was massively increased by the Court of Appeal to six years and nine months.

Shallcross was convicted three years ago of dangerous driving when he pulled wheelies, raced through narrow streets and roared through a park on his motorbike.

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But the dim-witted defendant filmed the lot on his headcam, which was seized by the police.

Officers spotted him riding at 60mph in a 30mph zone with no headlight on a KTM 125CC motocross bike.

Police stopped him after a mile in Outland Road where he boorishly told them he though the speed limit was 100mph, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

He was later spotted by one of the same officers pulling wheelies.

Shallcross admitted dangerous driving and driving without due car and attention.

He was ordered to forfeit his £7,500 bike and to do 250 hours unpaid work, plus he was banned from the road for 18 months.

Read the full story here

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Latest cases heard by Plymouth Crown Court

Tailgater crashed car while trying to get another driver to get out of his way

Angry Jamie Southgate was jailed for a year for crashing on the A38 after tailgating a car in heavy rain.

The 44-year-old got within a metre of the vehicle, flashed his lights and gestured for the driver to get out of his way, a jury decided.

She believes that he tried to overtake her even though she was travelling at about 70mph in the outside lane in Plymouth.

But Southgate’s Ford Focus hit the woman’s Daewoo Matiz and both vehicles span out on control near the Deep Lane junction in Plympton.

Neither Southgate nor Daewoo driver Katrina Newman were injured, Plymouth Crown Court heard only this week.

Jamie Southgate denied dangerous driving on the A38

Southgate, previously of Shadycombe Road, Salcombe, denied dangerous driving on July 29 last year. But he was convicted after a trial which lasted just over a day.

The jury took only an hour and 20 minutes to convict him by a unanimous verdict.

Judge Erik Salomonsen jailed Southgate for a year, including time for breaching a previous suspended sentence for dealing drugs.

He said: “You drove up behind a vehicle in the outside lane when visibility was poor and you flashed your lights and gesticulated.

“This was a serious offence of dangerous driving. There was not serious personal injury but her car was written off.”

Angry Jamie Southgate tried to force another driver out of his way on the A38
Angry Jamie Southgate tried to force another driver out of his way on the A38
(Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

Prosecution witness Heidi Allen, who was driving on the inside line at the time, said the cars were so close to one another that she thought one was towing the other.

But Southgate claimed that Mrs Newman had pulled out in front of him and he had just tried to swerve out of the way. He added that he lost control and they crashed.

Judge Salomonsen also banned the defendant from driving for 15 months.

Read the full story here

Drink-driver crashed after leading police on 80mph chase through Plymouth

A drink-driver raced off at speeds of up to 80mph with a terrified passenger before crashing into a hedge after a police chase, a court heard.

Russel Freeman, aged 29, drove off unexpectedly with the friend begging him to stop and did a 360 degree turn on a major city road.

Freeman eventually stopped after four or five miles and tried to run away from officers despite having a broken sternum.

He refused to provide a breath or blood specimen for alcohol analysis and argued with staff at hospital, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Danger driver Russel Freeman (right) is caught on CCTV veering around cones on Derriford Roundabout
Danger driver Russel Freeman (right) is caught on CCTV veering around cones on Derriford Roundabout
(Image: CPS)

Freeman, of Wanstead Grove, Honicknowle, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis on November 27.

A judge said it was a “really scary experience” for Freeman’s unwilling front-seat passenger.

Recorder Kevin de Haan said: “It is a serious case of dangerous driving and in normal circumstances a prison sentence would follow.”

But he added that Freeman had mental health problems at the time and the best way of tackling his offending would be to tackle those issues.

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He handed Freeman, who came with a bag packed for prison, a suspended sentence.

Freeman, of Wanstead Grove, Honicknowle, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis on November 27.

Read the full story here

Source: https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/idiot-plymouth-drivers-who-put-1753621

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