Jail for Colne car thief who injured footballer

Jail for Colne car thief who injured footballer

Jail for Colne car thief who injured footballer

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A DRUNK speeding car thief who mowed down a young footballer and smashed his leg in two places has been jailed for 36 weeks.

Lee Phillips, 23, had tricked a friend so he could take his keys and use his high-powered Volkswagen Golf GTi.

He then set off in the early hours, overtaking on the wrong side of the road in built-up areas, going 30mph over the speed limit, shooting through red traffic lights and then travelling at more than 50mph in the 20mph Colne town centre.

He smashed into a parked taxi and three police officers were so frightened for their safety as he continued to hurtle towards them, they had had to run away to avoid being struck.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Phillips, who was three times the legal limit, had then veered to the right and hit pedestrian Andrew Clark, throwing him into the air before he landed on the ground.

Mr Clark, who plays football for two teams, suffered a double break of his leg and also a head injury which led to amnesia.

The crash in the early hours of January 25 was caught on CCTV.

Phillips has 34 offences, including drink-related crimes, on his record and started breaking the law when he was 15.

He had admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol, no insurance and no licence.

The defendant, of Kenilworth Drive, Earby, who had been committed for sentence by magistrates, was banned for two years and must take an extended test.

Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, said Mr Clark had been out in town having a few drinks.

“He recalled nothing from the point he decided to go to a pub and waking up on the ground with police and friends gathered around him.

“He remembered pain in his left leg.

“He had suffered breaks to his tibia and fibula, had metal fixings placed in his leg and had a long period of immobilisation.

In at statement, Mr Clark, who described himself as very sporty and said he was studying sport at college, had fallen behind with his course work and would not be able to play football for a long time.

Nick Dearing, for Phillips, said custody would do very little to rehabilitate and reform him.

Recorder Nigel Grundy told Phillips his driving had a ‘catalogue of aggravating features’.

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