A man has been jailed after a dangerous high-speed pursuit of another driver through the streets of York left two of his passengers with serious injuries.
Just before midnight on 10 October 2017, Bradley James Kitching, 24, of Moore Lane, Wetherby, and John Shelton Carey, 27, of Orchard Gardens, Huntington, York, were in York in their own vehicles when they saw each other on Heworth Green.
Kitching was driving his blue Mini Cooper and Carey was driving his blue Vauxhall Astra VXR.
Kitching believed that Carey had been in a relationship with his girlfriend and wanted to confront him. On seeing Kitching, Carey drove away from the city centre onto Stockton Lane.
Kitching began to follow Carey and both cars travelled at high speed through residential areas. Witnesses who saw the vehicles described them as reaching speeds of between 80-100mph, despite the 30mph speed limit.
When they reached the village of Stockton-on-the-Forest, Kitching lost control of his Mini Cooper which left the road and ended up in a large garden pond.
Two passengers in the car suffered serious injuries, including several broken bones.
After the collision involving Kitching’s car, Carey continued driving at high speed through the village until the junction with Common Lane, where he too left the road into a wooded area.
The impact caused his car to set on fire and it was completely destroyed.
Kitching and Carey both escaped with minor injuries as a result of the collisions.
During the investigation it was established that Carey had not informed his insurer that he had points on his driving licence or that his vehicle had been modified. As a result the insurer cancelled his policy.
Lucky no one was killed
At York Crown Court on 20 December 2019, Carey was found not guilty of dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to making a false declaration to obtain insurance. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months.
Kitching had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury. He was sentenced to nine months in prison and disqualified from driving for 16 months.
Judge Sean Morris said Kitching’s driving was in the most severe category and that had anyone been killed as a result of the incident he would have potentially received up to eight to ten years in prison.
Sgt Mark Patterson, from North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team, said:
Bradley Kitching chose to treat the roads of York like a racetrack, as a way of resolving a petty dispute between himself and another man.
Kitching’s driving resulted in two of his passengers suffering serious injuries. He had no regard for other people using the road that night.
It is nothing short of a miracle that nobody lost their life as a result of either of the two collisions.
Sgt Patterson said that Carey had admitted lying to his insurance company about his driving licence points and the modifications to his vehicle to make his premium cheaper.
“These actions have resulted in the insurer cancelling his policy, him being convicted of a fraud offence and being left with a substantial bill for his vehicle which was destroyed in the fire.”