'Panicking' unlicenced driver left trail of destruction across Rugby, narrowly missing schoolboy - The Rugby Observer

'Panicking' unlicenced driver left trail of destruction across Rugby, narrowly missing schoolboy

Rugby Editorial 19th Apr, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

AN UNQUALIFIED driver panicked after running into the back of a car at a roundabout, and in her efforts to get away she narrowly missed a schoolboy and two other pedestrians.

But Lhoron Golding then got in touch with her solicitor and handed herself in to the police the next day.

And at Warwick Crown Court she narrowly escaped being jailed after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving without a licence.

Golding, 25, of Regent Street, Rugby, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months, ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity and banned from driving for 12 months.

Prosecutor Justin Jarmola said that in July last year Golding, who has never taken a test, was driving her BMW around Rugby when she had a minor rear-end shunt at a roundabout.

As it happened, the occupants of that car were off-duty police officers, and the driver, PC Ian Masters, pulled up at a safe spot further up Leicester Road.

Golding pulled up alongside, but then drove off and turned into Technology Drive, and was followed for some distance as she then drove along Mill Road and into Railway Terrace.

She overtook a taxi on a blind corner as other drivers took evasive action, then turned into Wood Street, a residential street where she collided with fence posts and a small tree.

It was about 3.15pm, which Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed was ‘just around the time’ when there would be children around, and the BMW narrowly missed a schoolboy on the pavement.

She then turned into Kimberley Road going the wrong way along the narrow one-way street and clipped two parked cars before turning into Manor Road.

There she narrowly missed two pedestrians, but hit two more parked cars, writing them both off.

By then the off-duty officers, who had earlier shown Golding one of their warrant cards, had lost sight of the BMW, which was later found abandoned.

But the next day Golding’s solicitor contacted the police and she attended the police station voluntarily, taking issue with a number of matters raised by the police when she was interviewed.

David Everett, defending, said: “The thrust of my argument isn’t that custody is inappropriate, but that a suspended sentence would be appropriate.

“She has no previous convictions of any sort. This is entirely out of character for this 25-year-old. This is a lady who wants to better herself.”

He said Golding had continued studying since leaving school at 16 with seven GCSEs, taking various subjects at colleges in Birmingham while also working part time at a store in Rugby.

Mr Everett said Golding had also taken responsibility for her teenage brother after their mother died in 2013.

She wanted to learn to drive and paid £1,400 for the BMW which she found online, and which was also written off, and she also faces being pursued by the insurers of the cars she hit.

“There was a very minor bump with the police officer. But, as many people do in those circumstances, having no insurance and no full licence, she panicked.”

Sentencing Golding, Judge de Bertodano told her: “You did not have a licence, and have never had one, and you had a pretty minor bump with a car in front of you.

“It was after that you made matters worse for yourself, because you drove off and were followed by the man you bumped into, who happened to be an off-duty police officer and made that known to you.

“You set off driving extremely erratically, colliding with fence posts and a tree. But the most serious part is that it was 3.15 in the afternoon, when the pavements would have been full of people and children, including one boy on his scooter who you narrowly missed.

“We are here today, with you in the dock, with no-one having been injured, but that is purely a matter of luck. Had someone been seriously injured or killed, you would have been going to prison for a number of years.

“It’s almost inevitable that someone who drives like this goes to prison. Normally you would have been going out of the back door, but I am confident this has been a severe lesson to you.”

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