Joyrider, 14, crashed carer’s Mercedes after high speed police chase

Posted On 20 Apr 2021 at 2:17 pm

Brighton Magistrates’ Court


A 14-year-old joyrider sped at up to three times the speed limit, narrowly avoiding pedestrians and veering on the wrong side of the road, a court heard today.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and his passenger, Seamus Dyson, were in a Mercedes A class car taken from the home of a terminally ill man and his wife, who used it to help care for him.

Dyson, 20, pleaded guilty today to allowing himself to be driven dangerously in a car taken without the owner’s consent on August 22 last year.

The boy, who is now 15, pleaded guilty to dangerously driving a vehicle taken without consent, driving without any insurance or a licence and verbally abusing two police officers at the same court on 12 April.

Prosecuting Dyson at Brighton Magistrates Court this afternoon, John Navas said: “The Mercedes was seen driving in Bear Road, Brighton, the vehicle having been reported stolen overnight from Kent.

“A police vehicle attempted to stop the Mercedes and the vehicle was driven over the pavement an in attempt to evade officers.

“It was moving at almost three times the speed limit on occasions. It turned onto the A270 Lewes Road, where it was driven over a pedestrian island, narrowly missing a pedestrian.

“It was careering all over the road, pursued by the police, passing through a busy junction through red traffic lights without stopping.

“The car eventually came to a stop in The Avenue, where both defendants ran from the vehicle and were detained by police.”

He said the car had been stolen from Patricia Robb, 74, who had been given it via the Motability scheme to care for her husband Lindsay, 68, who had Huntingdon’s disease.

He read out part of her victim statement, in which she said: “This has caused a great deal of stress to myself which my husband has picked up on and this has made him worse and more difficult to deal with.

“The stress is caused entirely by this incident. He was nowhere near as difficult to manage before.”

In the statement, made shortly after the incident, she said it had impacted his sense of balance, and said he was regularly falling over.

The court was told that Mr Robb had sadly passed away in December last year.

Defending Dyson, Brian Shaw said he had spent a significant amount of time in young offender institutions and prisons and was eager to avoid spending much more time there.

His previous convictions include burglary, robbery and theft, all dating from 2019. He’s currently being held at HMP Rochester.

The boy, who now lives in Sheffield, is due to be sentenced at Worthing Youth Court later this month.

  1. MikeyA Reply

    Please don’t persist with the term ‘joy rider’ as the correct term is car thief!

    • Jo Wadsworth Reply

      Hi Mikey, you actually specifically can’t call them a thief as there’s no proof they a) took the car themselves or b) that whoever took it intended to permanently deprive the owner, which is a key part of the definition of theft.

      That’s why the offence is taking without the owners consent. But that’s not really snappy enough for a headline

      • MikeyA Reply

        “He said the car had been stolen from Patricia Robb, 74, who had been given it via the Motability scheme to care for her husband Lindsay, 68, who had Huntingdon’s disease.”

        I would say that the term is correct in this case!

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    For the second time in a week there is the word “joyrider”. Please stop using it. The correct term is “deathrider”.

  3. Hove Guy Reply

    “The boy” is due to be sentenced at Worthing Youth Court, but no doubt it will amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Surely it is time that parents or guardians were prosecuted for the serious crimes committed by those for whom they are responsible.

  4. Helen Reply

    Please don’t stop using the term ‘joyrider’ just because a few people object. While I understand the nature of the objection, I believe it’s misguided. Joyrider is short and to the point, it’s common parlance and it’s widely understood. The response to the suggested alternative ‘car thief’ is well made. And as for Mr Hawtree’s suggested alternative, ‘deathrider’, it is the very worst kind of cheap tabloid hyperbola. Even though I don’t doubt how dangerous the driving was, in this instance no one died. Or perhaps Mr Hawtree believes you shouldn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Please don’t stoop so low. Joyrider is a perfectly acceptable term.

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