Man took car and crashed after row

Crime news
Crime news
Have your say

A man who rowed with his girlfriend took her car and ended up crashing it into a lamp post.

Mark Woods was thought to have overtaken a taxi in South Shore at 100mph before crashing the BMW in March last year.

Woods left the scene, but was implicated through his DNA found on the driver’s air bag. The 37-year-old of Brook Street, South Shore, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated vehicle taking.

Jacob Dyer, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said the defendant’s girlfriend at the time owned the BMW 530, worth between £5,000 and £6,000.

They were staying at Woods’ parents address on King George Avenue, North Shore, and he was not insured to drive the BMW. The court heard the couple spent the evening drinking with friends and family. The keys to the car had been left downstairs.

Later that night, the vehicle was spotted by a taxi driver, at around 11.45pm, on Yeadon Way, South Shore.

Mr Dyer said: “The taxi driver was heading towards the motorway and he was aware of headlights approaching behind him very quickly.

“The vehicle got very close to him, but then swerved to the other side of the road to overtake, at what he thought was at least 100 mph. There was a lone male in the car”.

The vehicle went out of sight. On approach to a roundabout, the driver obviously lost control because the BMW was seen to have crashed into a lamp post on the left hand side of the road.

The police were alerted. Extensive damage had been caused to the front end of the car, but Woods had left the scene. He claimed to have been at home all night and that he had not gone out.

In interview in April last year, Woods maintained he had not left the house.

Officers found no sign of forced entry to the house and no explanation for anyone else having the keys.

John Woodward, defending, explained that Woods had faced allegations that he had been involved with an underage girl.

Very serious accusations had been made, but he was acquitted following a trial.

The case had caused the defendant anxiety and depression. Mr Woodward added: “He did a remarkably stupid thing.

“He is desperately sorry.”

Woods was given 14 weeks’ prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months’ supervision. He has also been banned from driving for three years.

Judge Ian Leeming told him: “Somebody could have been killed on account of the way you had been driving. “