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Jail sentence for dangerous Sandwell car cruiser

Published 22nd June 2018

Mathew Lake

A Tipton man has been jailed after breaching the Black Country-wide car cruising injunction order by racing in Sandwell’s streets.

Mathew Lake is the first person to receive an immediate jail sentence for breaching the High Court order in Sandwell.

Dashcam footage shows how after breaching the car cruising order, Lake then also drove his car dangerously, reaching speeds of over 90mph on residential roads and crashing into another car.

Lake, aged 36, of Hawthorn Road, was jailed for a total of 23 months for three offences committed on the evening of 20 May 2018.

He was jailed for three months at Birmingham High Court for breaching the injunction order, plus Wolverhampton Crown Court imposed a sentence of 15 months for dangerous driving and five months for failing to provide a specimen. He was disqualified from driving for three years and 10 months.

At around 9.10pm on 20 May, Lake breached the order by racing in Hallens Drive, Wednesbury, while at a car cruising meet attended by a large number of vehicles and spectators.

Driving a Peugeot 205 CTI convertible, Lake was racing another vehicle and overtook an unmarked police car resulting in a high-speed pursuit in Wednesbury and Tipton, where Lake at times reached speeds of over 90mph on residential roads. He finally crashed into another car in Powis Avenue which resulted in injuries to the occupants.

Lake, who admitted all three offences, was arrested as part of Operation Hercules, West Midlands Police’s response to car cruising and street racing in the Black Country.

Sandwell Council’s legal services brought the breach of the car cruising injunction before the court.

Councillor Elaine Costigan, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “The car cruising injunction is there to help keep our roads safe and prevent nuisance.

“This result, achieved by the police, the council’s legal services and anti-social behaviour team working together, is a clear warning to others that the courts will send people to prison for breaching the order.”

Superintendent Dean Hatton, head of force traffic, said: “This result should act as a warning to any motorist who thinks they can drive dangerously or anti-socially on our streets with impunity. The car cruising injunction is a powerful piece of legislation and ignoring it can have very serious consequences.

“We’ve taken a really firm stance on street racers and there will be no let-up in our efforts to take dangerous road users off the streets.

“We won’t tolerate street racers; these are public roads not private race-tracks and we’re determined to bring offenders to justice and keep our streets safe.”

Lake was sentenced for the injunction breach at Birmingham High Court on Friday 15 June and was also ordered to pay £3,500 costs. The court took into account Lake’s remorse prior to sentencing.

He was sentenced for the offences of dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen and also disqualified from driving at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday (18 June).

You can find out more about the Black Country-wide car cruising injunction order, including its full terms, at our car cruising webpages. Report car cruising to police 101 or call 999 in an emergency.