Banned learner driver jailed for sparking dangerous police chase through streets of Sheffield

Ryan Penn was jailed for 12 months for driving offences and breaching a suspended sentence order, during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday, August 14)
Ryan Penn was jailed for 12 months for driving offences and breaching a suspended sentence order, during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday, August 14)
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A banned learner driver sparked a dangerous police chase through the streets of Sheffield, during which he reached speeds of 100mph and caused damage to several vehicles.

Police officers patrolling near to Prince of Wales Road, Darnall at 11.20am on July 19 this year noticed that the Skoda vehicle being driven by defendant, Ryan Penn, 26, did not appear to be road worthy, and signalled for him to pull over.

Officers caught up with Penn's vehicle on Prince of Wales Road at which point they began flashing their lights, but instead of stopping as requested, Penn backed into a nearby vehicle and sped off.

Referring to a witness statement provided by a police constable involved in the chase, Zaiban Alam, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court how Penn reached speeds of 60 miles per hour (mph) on Castle Beck Road, which is subject to a 30mph limit.

"He didn't give way on Woodhouse Road and reached speeds of 70mph, where the limit is 30mph. He continued to accelerate up to speeds of 90pmh," said Ms Alam, adding: "He turned towards Mosborough on the A57, travelling at 100 mph and overtaking for the length of the carriageway."

Penn continued to dangerously overtake vehicles as he travelled near to Moss Way police station, Owlthorpe, causing a collision between two vehicles as they attempted to take evasive action to avoid Penn's vehicle.

The court was told how the 12 minute pursuit finally came to an end in Birley Moor Avenue, Frecheville after Penn hit a Tesco delivery van.

Penn, who has never held a full driving license, pleaded guilty to offences of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without third party insurance, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and breaching a suspended sentence order at an earlier hearing.

Lucy Brown, defending, said Penn, of Shelley Drive, Dinnington, Rotherham 'panicked' when he saw the police because he knew he was disqualified from driving.

"He knows the appalling level of driving, and that he shouldn't have responded to the situation in that way," said Ms Brown.

She added that his partner and her son, who suffers from a number of disabilities such as autism, had both come to rely on his support and would both struggle to cope should he be given a sentence of immediate imprisonment.

Recorder Duncan Smith sentenced Penn to 12 months in prison, comprising of 10 months for his driving offences and two months for the activation of the suspended sentence he was in breach of when he committed the offences.

He said: "You caused damage and inconvenience to other road users with your irresponsible behaviour."

Recorder Smith also banned Penn from driving for a period of three years and five months, after which time he will be required to take an extended driving test should he wish to get back behind the wheel.

* South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Penn