A drugged-up young driver who led police on a 90mph car chase through Sheffield before crashing into trees has been jailed for two years.
Nathan Jones suffered near fatal injuries in the smash on New Year’s Day last year, while his passenger, his girlfriend Tiana Ajdoha, suffered a broken pelvis.
Sheffield Crown Court heard 21-year-old Jones, of Carlthorpe Grove, High Green, stole a Fiat Punto belonging to his grandmother at a family party on New Year’s Eve 2012. He drove his girlfriend and some friends to the home of Jodie Holliday, Miss Ajdoha’s best friend, on Manor Oaks Gardens, Wybourn.
After realising the car was stolen, Miss Holliday begged Jones to get out, but, while the other men got out, he drove off with Miss Ajdoha still inside.
Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting, said police were alerted and officers spotted the Fiat in Broomhill at 3am, where they activated their lights and sirens.
He said Jones sped through traffic lights at 70mph in a 30mph zone along Penistone Road and Halifax Road towards Grenoside.
He reached speeds of up to 90mph in a 50mph limit, went through a red light, overtook other motorists and then undertook a driver before crashing into trees when he failed to negotiate a bend.
Mr Outhwaite said Jones and his girlfriend, who had both been smoking cannabis, were trapped in the wreckage.
He said: “It was a prolonged incident of dangerous driving over three miles.
Peter Hampson, for Jones, said he suffered bleeding on the brain which could have proved fatal. When interviewed by police, Jones said he could not recall anything after Christmas Day.
Jones admitted aggravated vehicle taking and causing serious injury to his passenger by dangerous driving.
Mr Hampson said Miss Ajdoha had made a good recovery and was in court supporting her boyfriend.
He said: “It is fortunate the incident was not worse, the most damage he caused was to himself.”
He said Jones’ head injury had affected his cognitive behaviour and memory and he was still having treatment.
Sentencing, Judge Peter Kelson QC said the incident had been a ‘wake-up call’ for Jones, but he had ignored pleas to get out of the car and the cannabis ‘perhaps’ influenced his judgment.
He told Jones: “It was sustained, dangerous driving.”
Jones, who only holds a provisional licence, was jailed for two years and banned from driving for five.
Sergeant Steve Askham, from South Yorkshire Police’s serious collisions unit, said: “This collision was completely avoidable.
“A member of the public felt the need to dial 999 about the standard of his driving and, when requested to stop by a police officer, Jones should have simply pulled over and stopped.
“The serious injuries caused to both himself and his passenger could have been avoided, as well as the risk posed to the public and the significant resources from the three emergency services utilised to deal with this incident.”