A pregnant woman was taken by her ex-boyfriend on a “harrowing” car chase which left her in a complete state of shock, a court heard today.
Tiffany Smith was 14 weeks pregnant with Daryl Tyler’s child when he drove his car at such speeds that the wheels took off from the road.
Tyler, 25, was banned from the road at the time and was trying to evade police.
Maidstone Crown Court heard he led them on a chase in his Citroen around Gillingham, including the grounds of Medway Maritime Hospital, in the early hours of Friday, September 13.
Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham
He drove the wrong way down a one-way street, on the opposite side of the road and, as the pursuit came to an end, reversed into one of the patrol cars, causing more than £800 damage.
When officers finally managed to box the car in and arrest Tyler, they found Miss Smith in the passenger seat.
“She was said to be in complete shock,” said prosecutor Bridget Todd. “She was distraught, crying and frightened.”
Miss Smith later told police she had been telling her former boyfriend throughout the chase to stop.
“She said they were driving too fast and could have been killed,” continued Miss Todd. “She believed he was not in control and was only thinking of himself.”
"It was a rather appalling episode of dangerous driving" - Judge Caddick
The court also heard that Tyler knew Miss Smith was pregnant with his child and, ironically, had been with her that day in an attempt to rekindle their relationship.
Tyler, of Florence Street, Rochester, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, without insurance and failing to stop for police.
But while Judge David Caddick told Tyler he should be sentenced to an “immediate and substantial” term behind bars for what he described as a “rather appalling episode of dangerous driving”, he decided to give him a chance.
Tyler was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years, with conditions including a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
He was also banned from driving for three years, ordered to pay £817 compensation for the damage to the police car, and £100 statutory surcharge.
The court heard that the carpenter was originally disqualified from driving for three years in February last year for earlier offences of dangerous driving and drink-driving.
Judge Caddick told him he had not “learnt his lesson”.
“You seemed to have little or no understanding of what your driving was doing in terms of danger to others - the public at large, the police officers doing the public’s work in pursuing you, your ex partner and the child with whom she was pregnant,” he said.
“You gave no thoughts to such things.”
Explaining his decision for imposing a suspended sentence, Judge Caddick said a probation report had identified a connection between Tyler’s offending and drug abuse, in particular cannabis.
Miss Todd said Tyler’s driving was “blatant and dangerous”.
“He knew fully that the police wanted him to stop and was putting his passenger at risk.”