Sparks flying from wheels in 70mph police chase

A Nelson man who stole a safe and led police on a three mile chase in two separate incidents has been jailed.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 11:44 am
Lee Nolan. (S)

Lee Nolan (27), of Branch Street, was given two years in prison after stealing a safe containing £9,300 in September from a friend he had known for three decades, Burnley Crown Court was told.

He was also sentenced for an incident in February of this year, when he had to be boxed in by police after a chase in Whalley Road, Burnley Road, Peel Street and other Padiham side streets.

Prosecutor Stephen Parker told the hearing that in the first incident, he arrived at Raymond Buchanan’s house with a female. When let in, he asked to use the toilet upstairs.

Mr Buchanan, the court heard, became concerned he had been a while and called up to him. Nolan called back saying he was not feeling well and Mr Buchanan went to get him a drink.

Mr Parker said the next thing Mr Buchanan knew was Nolan heading off out the house and only realised in the evening the safe was gone. He knew the amount was £9,300 because he had saved it for a new kitchen.

In February, police deployed a stinger to try and stop Nolan in a Vauxhall Vectra as he exited junction 8 of the M65 after making off from police in Blackburn.

Mr Parker told the hearing that despite two punctured front tyres, Nolan drove towards Padiham at 70mph.

Entering Padiham, he slowed to between 40mph and 30mph, He drove on the wrong side of the road, went through a red traffic light, mounted the pavement, narrowly avoided a collision with an ambulance, knocked over a road sign and rammed a police car. By the time he was stopped, the court heard thecar tyres had completely disintegrated and the vehicle’s wheel were causing sparks.

Philip Holden (defending) accepted that there were aggravating features, such as Nolan’s record of 58 convictions. But he said Nolan had pleaded guilty and it was not the worst example of dangerous driving the courts will see.

Sentencing, Judge James Adkins said Nolan’s record was “terrible” and the dangerous driving was “pretty close” to the most serious of cases. He also banned Nolan from driving for 30 months.