Teenager led police on late night high speed car chase

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A teenager who led police on a car chase through Luton late at night has been handed a community order.

When Romanian born Alexandru Manuel appeared at Luton crown court on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Recorder Cairns Nelson QC hearing the case was told that since the incident in August 2019 he had returned home during the pandemic.

However, it was his credit that the 19-year-old had come back for his court case and “face his punishment”.

In court Manuel of Dudley Street, Luton pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in Hucklesby Way, Luton and driving with no insurance or licence.

Prosecutor Alex Wright said in the early hours of August 14 last year police officers on patrol in the town had gone into the road searching for a suspect in an entirely unrelated incident.

However, Manuel was present in the road behind the wheel of a silver VW Golf.

On seeing the police car Manuel drove off at speed well in excess of the 30 mph speed limit prompting the officers to follow.

After the police activated their blue lights for Manuel to pull up, he continued to drive at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and at one stage jumped a set of red traffic lights.

Turning into Hitchin Road Manuel continued at speeds of between 50 and 55mph where the limit was 30mph.

As the chase continued the VW went the wrong way round a roundabout and struck a keep left central traffic island damaging a tyre on the car and causing it to slow.

He was arrested moments later. A roadside breath test ascertained he hadn’t been drinking, but it was discovered he was not insured to drive the car.

The court heard Manuel was just 18 at the time. Jeremy Rosenberg defending said his client had acted foolishly in “the heat of the moment.”

Passing sentence Recorder Cairns Nelson QC told Manuel: “It’s remarkable no one was hurt.”

He was given a 12 month community order and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for a year and told he must pay £200 towards the cost of the prosecution.

As the teenager left the dock Recorder Nelson told him “Consider yourself very lucky and take this chance.”