Van joy riders drove on field

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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Two joyriders careered across playing fields in a van they had taken while police pursued them.

The duo then fled as the van rolled back into a garden fence and they were tracked down by police dogs.

Zak Smith, 26, of Elston Avenue, Grange Park, pleaded guilty to the aggravated taking of a Peugeot Partner van and driving it while 
disqualified without insurance.

Ryan Whiteside, 23, of Convent Crescent, Grange Park, pleaded guilty to theft of the van keys and being a passenger in a vehicle taken without consent.

Smith was sentenced to 187 days imprisonment and banned from the road for one year by District Judge David Purcell sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court who told him: “ This was an extremely dangerous piece of driving and you are very fortunate you did not face more serious charges.”

Whiteside was sentenced to an eight weeks curfew, from 7pm to 7am, put on 12 months supervision and ordered to pay £85 costs plus £60 victims’ surcharge.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that on November 1 a man reported his van had been taken from outside his home. The next day at 1.25am police spotted it speeding on Blackpool Promenade.

Officers signalled the van to stop after it went through a no entry sign.

The van failed to stop and other police patrols joined the pursuit from the town centre to Layton.

The van was driven across Alder Grove playing fields where the duo abandoned it and it rolled into a garden fence.

Police dog patrols tracked them both down nearby.