Drink driver in road rage chase

Kyle Maher, aged 23.'A BANNED drink-driver raced after another car at 'grossly excessive' speeds of up to 70mph in a road rage chase around a Sheffield suburb, a court heard.
Kyle Maher, aged 23.'A BANNED drink-driver raced after another car at 'grossly excessive' speeds of up to 70mph in a road rage chase around a Sheffield suburb, a court heard.
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A BANNED drink-driver raced after another car at ‘grossly excessive’ speeds of up to 70mph in a road rage chase around a Sheffield suburb, a court heard.

Kyle Maher, aged 23, and his passenger were in a works Vauxhall van, when they chased Robert Smith’s Ford Focus along Halifax Road and Penistone Road, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

One driver who saw the van hurtling towards him straddling the centre white lines told police: “I honestly thought I was going to die in a head-on collision.”

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Mr Smith was in his father’s Focus in the Burger King car park on Leppings Lane with a friend at 10.20pm when two men in a van started shouting at them.

She said Mr Smith drove off and the men swore at him so he told them to ‘shut up’ out of his window.

He heard the screeching of tyres and Maher began to chase him in the van.

Mr Smith said the van followed him down Herries Road South so he accelerated because he was scared.

Miss Gallagher said when he turned onto Halifax Road he was rammed from behind by the van.

The court heard Mr Smith accelerated up 70mph.

“He was really scared and wanted to get away,” said Miss Gallagher.

He weaved in and out of the lanes and when the van drove alongside he braked, forcing it to swerve.

Maher mometarily spun out of control but righted the van and as the Focus reached 80mph on Penistone Road, the van flew past and swerved across its path.

Maher then rammed the car side on, snapping off a wing mirror.

The chase came to an end when the van fishtailed ahead of the Focus and flipped over onto its side.

Maher and his pal ran off but were arrested in a nearby wood.

Maher told police his friend was the driver but later admitted he was behind the wheel. He was just over the drink-drive limit.

The court heard Maher, of Thornbridge Gardens, Chapeltown, had an ‘appalling’ record for driving offences.

He admitted dangerous driving, drink-driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop after an accident and having no insurance.

The next day a neighbour reported him to police for driving a short distance on his own street while banned and having no insurance.

Ian Goldsack, defending Maher, said he was a young man and there was a “degree of naivety and immaturity about the way he conducts himself.”

Mr Goldsack said: “Luckily there were no injuries and only slight damage to the vehicles.”

Recorder Mark Bury said Maher drove at ‘grossly excessive speeds’ and he had shown a ‘cavalier’ attitude towards driving laws.

Jailing him for 19 months and banning him from driving for three years Judge Bury said: “You had no business being behind the wheel of a vehicle.”