A young man with mental health problems was involved in a police chase across the Barnsley area, Sheffield Crown Court heard today.
Lewis Kitchen, 19, was pursued by South Yorkshire police when his family became worried about his mental state.
Kitchen, of Worsbrough Dale, Barnsley, was found sat in his car, alone, in the car park of B&Q Cortonwood.
Prosecuting, Louise Gallagher, QC, said that police had knocked on the window of Kitchen’s vehicle, but in response, Kitchen “aggressively” reversed out of the parking bay.
Kitchen exceeded the speed limit and kept driving with his lights off. The officer made an attempt to follow him, but lost sight of the car, the court was told.
Four more vehicles and a helicopter were deployed to try and find the 19-year-old.
The police eventually found him and an 11 minute chase occurred.
“Lewis broke the 30mph speed limit, crossed over onto the other side of the road numerous times, in the rain with no lights on his car”, Gallagher told the court.
In a statement read to the court, police said: “There came a point where Kitchen drifted towards a heavy goods vehicle, causing the heavy goods driver to swerve and leaving him in serious stress.”
The chase continued onto West Street, Worsborough, where Kitchen continued at a speed of 50mph on the wrong side of the road.
Kitchen was caught when all four of his tyres were punctured and he had no choice but to step out of his vehicle.
He was arrested that night.
Richard Mark Barradell, defending, said: “This young man clearly was not thinking straight, he was harming himself and wanted to be alone, so when the police came into the car park he was angry and did not want to accept help.”
The Judge, Sarah Wright, told Kitchen, “You’re 19 years of age with no convictions and yet you’ve found yourself in the dock of a Crown Court.
“You drove away with no lights on your car, in bad conditions, you dodged cars and put many at risk, but it was clear you weren’t thinking straight.”
The Judge handed Kitchen a community order, a rehabilitation activity of 25 days, and a 12 month driving ban.