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RECKLESS: Banned driver gets behind the wheel in Watford and speeds away from police

 Published on: 26th November 2021   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

Just four days before his driving ban was due to expire, Yousef Radhawais was caught by police behind the wheel of a car in Watford and tried to get away by driving dangerously along along a busy road.

Today (Friday, November 26) the 19 year old appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court (pictured), where he was handed a 28-month sentence in a young offender institution.

Prosecutor Subagarey Pathmanathan told how on the afternoon of September 11 this year, police officers saw the defendant behind the wheel of a black Nissan Skyline in St Albans Road, Watford.

The vehicle was noisy and there was damage to the rear passenger side.

As a result officers who were in a patrol car indicated to the defendant he should pull over.

Miss Pathmanathan said Radhawais started to slow down as if it was pulling over into the side of the road before it suddenly made a turn in the road and sped off in the opposite direction.

The court was told the officers gave chase and it wasn’t long before they came across the defendant, who was still in the vehicle but stuck in a queue of traffic waiting at a set of lights.

As a result, one of the officers got out of the police car and approached the passenger side of the Nissan, telling the defendant to get out of the vehicle.

Instead, Rdhawais reversed the Nissan before doing a handbrake turn to drive off again.

Recorder Steven Lennard, hearing the case, was told the vehicle narrowly missed the officer who had used his baton to strike a window of the car.

Driving away, the Nissan hit speeds of between 50 to 60 miles per hour in a stretch of the road where the speed limit was 30mph.

The defendant was arrested the next day and claimed that he had been at home at the time of the incident.

Recorder Lennard heard that the defendant had been banned from driving for six months in March of this year after amassing penalty points and still had four days to go before he could drive again when he committed the offences.

Radhawais, of St Albans Road in Watford, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving with no insurance and driving whilst disqualified.

The offences meant he was also in breach of a 24 month sentence handed out to him in November of last year which was suspended for two years.

Recorder Lennard told the defendant the risk of harm to the police officer who had got out of the police car had been “substantial.”

He went on: “I treat this as a serious offence and which passes the custody threshold.”

For the offence of dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving whist disqualified, the teenager was given a total of 10 months in a Young Offender Institute.

But Recorder Lennard told him he would activate 18 months of the suspended sentence, making a total of 28 months.

He was disqualified from driving for three years and two months and told he will have to take an extended driving test before he gets behind the wheel of a car again.

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