Tue, 23 August 2022 at 4:00 am
A Range Rover driver who hit high speeds on the A34 was subject to a suspended jail sentence for twice driving dangerously.
Nathan Crane, 27, had to be helped from the luxury 4×4 by police after he pranged a Mercedes near the Milton turn-off – having already broken almost every bone in his body in a previous crash.
Sending him down for two years and four months and banning him from driving for four years, Judge Maria Lamb branded the driving ‘breath-taking’.
“At high speeds and for a period of some three to four minutes, you drove in a way which in my view endangered potentially the lives of a number of other road users,” the judge said.
“You can be seen undertaking repeatedly and forcing your way between two lines of fast-moving traffic on the southbound A34.
“Eventually – and predictably – you collided with another vehicle.”
Mitigating, Bethan Chichester said her client had broken ‘the majority of the bones in his body’ during an earlier crash. He had lost a kidney and ruptured his bladder in the same collision.
Since his remand into custody last month he had not been able to access the kind of rehabilitation, including hydrotherapy, that he had received when out of prison.
Crane, of All Saints Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, without insurance, failing to stop, common assault and assaulting an emergency worker.
Alice Aubrey-Fletcher, prosecuting, told the court that police were tipped off about a white Range Rover being driven on false plates on the M40 near Banbury on July 6.
A traffic officer later tracked the 4×4 down on the A34 and began pursuing it.
Footage from the patrol car’s dash cam showed the police officer hitting a top speed of 103mph as he tried to catch up with the Range Rover ahead.
The chase ended after he clipped a Mercedes. “When the officers came to get Mr Crane out of the car it was clear he couldn’t continue to drive because the airbags had been deployed,” Ms Aubrey-Fletcher said.
He was initially taken to hospital before being transferred to Abingdon police station.
While there, he made a fist as if to punch a detention officer when she tried to take away a blanket that she feared he might use to harm himself. He smashed a crutch against the wall then pushed another detention officer who came to the cell.
Ms Chichester, mitigating, said that during his time in the police station he was in severe pain. His lashing out was ‘borne out of frustration and pain’.
At the time, Crane was subject to an 18 month suspended prison sentence – imposed at Portsmouth Crown Court in 2020. In 2018, he deliberately drove at a pedestrian, missed, and hit a lamppost. The following year, he crashed into two house after sinking six rounds of drinks at a pub in Cosham, Hants.
This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.
To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk