Teenager faces jail threat

VIDEOA teenager who posted footage of himself on the internet driving at speeds up to 130mph on the A14 could face a jail term after admitting dangerous driving.

A TEENAGER who posted footage of himself on the internet driving at speeds up to 130mph on the A14 could face a jail term after admitting dangerous driving.

Danny Hyde, 18, from Stowmarket, filmed the two-minute clip on his mobile phone as he careered along the road at high speeds, overtaking traffic on the dual carriageway.

He was eventually caught out when a member of the public spotted the clip on internet site YouTube and alerted police.

Hyde, of Swallow Drive, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared before magistrates in Ipswich yesterday.

His solicitor told the court: “He has been so stupid it is untrue.”

The case came on the same day as police chiefs called for sites like YouTube to ban home-made videos of people speeding, while road safety campaigners urged such internet sites to act more responsibly.

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Hyde was arrested after police received an email from a member of the public about the footage, which was taken sometime between July 1 and August 30.

The clip, which was shown to the court, featured Hyde driving eastbound on the A14 between Claydon and Copdock.

It included shots of the speedometer in his Vauxhall Astra car which registered speeds of up to 130mph.

After watching the footage, police managed to identity Hyde as the driver and arrested him.

The court heard that Hyde was frank with the police, admitted that he was travelling at about 120mph and described his driving as “stupid”.

When asked if he thought it was dangerous he replied: “Yes, very”.

Ian Duckworth, mitigating, said Hyde was devastated by what had happened.

“He has been so stupid it is untrue. It was his crass stupidity and he will pay the consequences which he understands.”

Chairman of the bench, Anne Parry, said it was a “very serious offence” and said she would suspend sentence until February 21 for reports.

She warned Hyde that he could face a jail sentence and said he was banned from driving until the hearing.

After the case, a spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: “We clearly think this is very dangerous and sets a dangerous precedent to be posting these videos of excessive speeding on public roads.”

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “This incident was brought to our attention by a member of the public who found the footage of the offence on YouTube.

“This incident was extremely dangerous, not only did the driver put his life at risk but the lives of other people too.”

A spokesman for YouTube said: “We have a very successful flagging system on YouTube that lets users alert us to inappropriate content.

“When a video is flagged, we review it against our terms of use and remove it if the video breaks these standards and suspend the accounts of repeat offenders.”

Do video sites encourage wreckless behaviour? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk