A RUGBY man who had been arrested after crashing into a lorry late at night, ripped the interior light from a police van and made ‘silly threats,’ a judge has heard.
Karl Evans subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of causing criminal damage to the van and driving while disqualified and with no insurance.
And the case ended up at Warwick Crown Court – because at the time he was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed there for an offence of affray.
That sentence of four months in prison was activated after he admitted failing to comply with the order, with a consecutive two-month sentence for his new offences.
But because of the time Evans, 31, of Ashlawn Road, had already spent on remand in custody, he was told the practical effect was that he would be released immediately.
Prosecutor Christopher Pembridge said that at the court in April, Evans had been given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to affray.
He had also been ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity and to do 180 hours of unpaid work, but had failed to comply with those requirements.
Then at 10.45pm on September 3, despite having been disqualified, Evans was driving a BMW when he crashed into a lorry in North Street, Rugby.
Two off-duty special constables happened to be there at the time, and when they went over to the car they formed the view that Evans was under the influence of drink or drugs.
So they reported the incident and other officers attended and arrested Evans who was put into a police van.
But on the way to the police station he began ripping out the interior light fitting, pulling out the wiring and trying to harm himself with it.
Mr Pembridge added that Evans had a number of previous offences involving vehicles, including aggravated vehicle taking, excess alcohol, and driving while disqualified.
In relation to the suspended sentence, Recorder William Davis told Evans’s barrister: “The defendant having breached that sentence, I don’t see any good reason why it should not be activated in full.
“But he has the benefit of the days on remand, so he has, in effect, served it.”
Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, defending, said: “The first breach alleged by the probation service, he says was a case of him not getting the letter in time. But the other dates show a sorry picture.
“In the breach report there was a recommendation for the order to continue, but things have moved on.”
In relation to the offences in September, Mr Veasey-Pugh said: “At the relevant time this defendant was in a bad way.
“There is reference [in the case] to silly threats being made, but it seems to me a 12-volt wire was not going to electrocute either him or the officers.”
Jailing Evans, and banning him from driving for 18 months, Recorder Davis told him: “On the 23rd of April I sentenced you to four months imprisonment for affray and ordered that it be suspended for two years.
“Regrettably you have shown little or no sign of engaging with that order. You have not attended a single appointment, and a warrant was issued by this court in July when you failed to attend for a breach of that order.
“After that, you were arrested for the matters on the committal for sentence after you crashed the vehicle you were driving into a lorry.
“You were put into a police van, and you damaged that van and made various threats.
“You were committed to this court for sentence because you were in breach of the suspended sentence, and were remanded in custody on the 6th of September.”
And of the six-month sentence, he added: “The practical effect is that you will be subject to release immediately.”