October 28, 2020 4.14 pm This story is over 36 months old

Teen drove stolen van down the A46 at 100mph

All on the wrong side of the road

A teenager whose driving was described as something out of the 1970s film Smokey and the Bandit while being pursued by police has been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Patrick Kerrigan reached speeds of almost 100mph and repeatedly drove on the wrong side of the road directly at oncoming vehicles during the 30-minute pursuit.

Cars, lorries, motorcyclists and cyclists were all forced to take evasive action to avoid being struck by the transit van being driven by Kerrigan.

Kerrigan, who did not hold a full driving licence and was not insured, also took a roundabout the wrong way on the A46 and at one point went through a red traffic light.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that the transit van being driven by Kerrigan had been stolen in Upminster, Essex, and was using false number plates when it was first seen by police at Pennell’s roundabout, South Hykeham, as it headed out of the city along the A46 towards Newark.

Officers tried to stop Kerrigan at Thorpe-on-the Hill but he accelerated away driving at speeds of up to 95mph.

Kerrigan turned off the A46 at the roundabout with the A1133 and headed for Collingham.

Mr Howes said: “He showed a flagrant disregard for the rules of the road. He deliberately endangered other road users by his speed and numerous inappropriate manoeuvres.

“He overtook in the face of oncoming vehicles and at Langford drove at 80 in a 40mph limit.

“As he approached Collingham he overtook and remained in the wrong carriageway. He then overtook two vehicles and went through a red traffic light.

“He drove straight towards two cyclists coming in the opposite direction. He was still doing 70mph in a built-up area.”

Mr Howes said that Kerrigan reached the A57 and drove towards Dunham Bridge and then into Nottinghamshire where he continued to drive dangerously through the village of Darlton and on to Tuxford.

He then drove back towards Lincoln. The pursuit ended after the transit van was slowed down by a stinger device and Kerrigan lost control colliding with a Tesco delivery van.

Mr Howes said: “The defendant was arrested at the scene. He gave a positive test for cannabis but at the police station he refused to give a blood sample. There was a 17-year-old male passenger in the van.”

Kerrigan, 19, of Telford House, Southwark, South East London, admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen of blood, driving otherwise in accordance with his licence and driving without insurance as a result of the incident on the afternoon of June 4 this year.

He was jailed for 14 months. He was disqualified from driving for three years and seven months and ordered to pass an extended retest before he can drive again.

Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight, passing sentence, told him: “This was extraordinary bad driving. It is very fortunate that no-one was killed or seriously injured.

Michael Conning, in mitigation, said the incident happened at a time when Kerrigan had moved out of his family home in London to stay in the Lincoln area.

“It was straight out of the film Smokey and the Bandit. He accepts all of the points made about his driving and apologises for it.”