Sentence for dangerous driving in the Cotswolds
By Bethany Winter | 29th April 2021
A man with two previous dangerous driving convictions to his name has been jailed following his latest escapade - driving up to 90mph in the country lanes of the North Cotswolds.
Gloucester Crown Court heard that Darrell Keen, 38, of Kings Lane, Norton, Evesham, has three previous offences of drink-driving on his record and four of driving while disqualified and without insurance.
Prosecutor Catherine Flint said: "On March 27 this year Keen was spotted driving a Range Rover and was known to be a disqualified driver. An alert was issued by Gloucestershire Police for officers to stop the vehicle if it was spotted.
"At 11.55am PC Jerry Tranter saw the vehicle driving out of Bishops Cleeve and he followed it for a short distance before the driver of the Range Rover spotted the police vehicle and set off at speed.
"That began a four-minute pursuit along single track roads, with limited passing spaces and travelling at speeds up to 90mph.
"He passed a woman with a pushchair who had to mount the grass verge to avoid being hit.
"The car also approached a level crossing at speed where the vehicle became airborne.
"The pursuit finally came to a halt at Tredington after Keen had spotted another police vehicle ahead of him.
"Keen got out of the vehicle and immediately admitted to officers that he was a disqualified driver whose ban was not due to finish till October this year."
Rachel Pennington, defending said: "Keen wishes to apologise for his impulsive behaviour. He accepts it was a dangerous and stupid thing to have done. Luckily he knew it was time to stop when he spotted the second police car.
"Keen states that it was stupid for him to have got into the driving seat of the Range Rover in the first place as what he had intended to do was not that important.
"This demonstrates that Keen has a lack of consequential thinking and the nature of his driving crosses the custody threshold.
"Since Keen was remanded in prison at the end of last month he is finding life inside rather difficult. He is looking for professional help for his ongoing issues. I firmly believe there is an alternative to custody."
Keen pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on March 27, 2021, driving while disqualified and not having valid insurance.
Judge Michael Cullum told Keen: "You know in reality that there has to be an immediate custodial sentence for these offences.
"You recognised the seriousness and the dangerousness of your offending and admitted your guilt at the earliest opportunity.
"What you did was to get into a vehicle when you had no valid reason to get into the driver's seat. It wasn't for an important matter. But doing this meant you were driving whilst disqualified and at speeds that were alarming.
"The fact is that you drove at 90mph, not quite scattering pedestrians in your way. Luckily there was no injury to anybody and you stopped before the situation had became any worse.
"Your list of previous motoring convictions significantly aggravates these offences which mean that the only sentence I can pass is 12 month prison term."
Judge Cullum banned Keen from driving for three years and six months.
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