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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Herne Bay learner motorist Simon Hoskin jailed after 70mph police chase while 'driving blind' at night

08 February 2014
by Paul Hooper
A spurned lover led police on a night-time 70mph car chase through Herne Bay - with his lights turned off.
Learner driver Simon Hoskin, 24, ignored road signs, drove the wrong down a one-way system and around a roundabout.
The father-of-two was in effect "driving blind at night", a judge was told.
Learner driver Simon Hoskin has been locked up

Learner driver Simon Hoskin has been locked up

And even when a tyre on his Vauxhall Astra ripped apart he carried on, with sparks flying from the wheel's metal rim.
The chase finally ended in Osborne Gardens, Beltinge, and as police officers arrived a sobbing Hoskin shouted: "Arrest me! Arrest me! She made me do it. She drove me to this. I can't take any more."
Canterbury Crown Court heard police had been called by his ex-partner Leanne Slater after a bust-up between the pair that night.
"He accepts that he acted like a complete idiot. He had had an argument with a former partner and when he saw the police he just panicked. He doesn't understand why he didn't stop..." - Andrew Gurney, defending
But as Hoskin, of Charles Street, Herne Bay, was led away to start a 19-month jail sentence, Ms Slater - who had been sitting in the public gallery - attempted to kiss him goodbye.
She was prevented from getting to the dock by the security officer and stormed out of court screaming four-letter words at the judge.
Earlier, prosecutor Alastair Keith told how she had called the police on November 14 last year saying "she was having problems with her ex-partner".
Hoskin's Astra then passed the house and was followed by the police into William Street, Mortimer Street, High Street, Kings Road, Canterbury Road, Victoria Park and Cavendish Road.
Mr Keith said at one point the car stopped and a woman - not Ms Slater - got out of the passenger side looking "pale and in shock".
Hoskin then sped away again along Underdown Road, New Street and Reculver Road - despite the damage to one of the car's front wheels.
The prosecutor said: "He was driving at times at 70mph through 30mph areas and with no lights on, in a damaged car and in effect driving blind at night.
"He was driving on the metal rim and police noted sparks flying, but he carried on for another quarter-of-a-mile before stopping."
At the police station he refused to give a blood sample for analysis, but claimed he had drunk three cans of lager.
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

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Andrew Gurney, defending, said: "He accepts that he acted like a complete idiot. He had had an argument with a former partner and when he saw the police he just panicked. He doesn't understand why he didn't stop."
He said Hoskin had bought the car days earlier intending to take his test, which he believed would enhance his chances of getting a job.
Hoskin pleaded guilty to driving dangerously, failing to provide a specimen, driving without a licence or insurance and was banned from the road for four years.
Judge James O'Mahony told him: "This was appalling driving, potentially lethal and as bad as I have ever heard in this court - and you hadn't even passed your driving test."

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