A DISQUALIFIED driver who stole his grandmother’s car and led police on a chase around a North Yorkshire town has been jailed for 15 months.
Nathan Valvona, 22, pleaded guilty to a series of driving offences before Scarborough Magistrates’ Court in June, but magistrates felt their powers were not appropriate to serve justice, so he was sent to York Crown Court.
The court heard that just before 9am on June 10, Valvona took his grandmother’s mobility car – a Volkswagen Polo – despite being disqualified from driving for previous offences, and was seen by a passing police officer.
The police computer system showed it was possibly being used by an uninsured or disqualified driver, and the officer began following the vehicle towards Scarborough, before Valvona left a roundabout at speed near Cayton.
Liam O’Brian, prosecuting, said members of the public pointed the officer in the direction of Valvona, who had begun driving erratically around the town, including on pavements, and had almost collided with a BMW.
One witness told police he had “never seen such driving in real life, only on television, it was appalling and the driver had total disregard for others”, while another said the Polo took one corner so fast “it almost looked like it was on two wheels”.
Malcolm Nowell, for Valvona, said: “He accepts there can be no excuse whatsoever for his driving on that occasion.”
The court heard Valvona had previously appeared before the courts for burglary and for stealing his grandmother’s car, and had been given community orders and unpaid work.
Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “This was serious offending by someone who had been given a chance before.
“On this occasion, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn the hard way.
“You have, I’m afraid, not appeared to have learned from past mistakes. This example was a bad example of its type. You are very, very fortunate not to be facing more serious charges.
“Had there been a collision someone may have been hurt if you lost control of your vehicle.”
Valvona, of Thorne Tree Avenue, Filey, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for dangerous driving, and three months in prison for taking his grandmother’s car without consent and for driving while disqualified, to be served concurrently.
He was also banned from driving for three years, and will have to complete an extended driving test before he can regain his licence.