Unlicensed dangerous driver drove wrong way past Ipswich pedestrian crossing, through red light and clipped traffic island, court told

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

An unlicensed driver travelled on the wrong side of the road at a pedestrian crossing, mounted the central island and went through a red light, a court heard.

Terriann Staples had only just bought her car for £150 when the incident occurred in Crown Street, Ipswich after a police officer tried to stop her vehicle.

The 24-year-old admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without a licence and insurance, and using a vehicle without an MoT when she appeared before Ipswich magistrates. Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said the incident occurred at 7pm on September 10.

A police officer activated his Automatic Number Plate Recognition equipment which showed Staples’ green Ford Ka had no insurance.

He put his blue lights and siren on but Staples, of Winnock Road, Colchester, failed to stop.

The court heard her vehicle pulled into the middle of the road, approaching the traffic lights at a pedestrian crossing where people were waiting to cross.

Staples drove past cars on the wrong side of the road, mounted the traffic island, came back on the correct side of the road and went through red lights.

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After overtaking another vehicle she abruptly came to a halt, cutting up a further vehicle.

Michael Stephenson, representing Staples, described the circumstances behind the incident as bizarre.

He said his client had mental health issues which she was trying to address but appeared to be “stuck in a queue” in her attempt to do so.

At the time she had been fearful of losing her accommodation and believed she would need a car for somewhere to sleep.

Staples came to Ipswich and bought the vehicle for £150.

Mr Stephenson said: “Having got the car, driving it when she shouldn’t have done and then realising she has come to the attention of police, she then drives it dangerously.”

Magistrates were told having gone through a red light Staples recognised what she was doing and pulled over.

Describing Staples as a very vulnerable person Mr Stephenson said: “I think something must have clicked in her brain. She realised this was wrong and that she had got to stop driving and she did.”

Staples was given a 24-month community order with supervision and disqualified from driving for 12 months. She must also pay £85 in costs and surcharges.