Learner driver jailed for 137mph police chase in Devon

A361 North Devon Link Road Image copyright Google
Image caption Leon Lloyd was driving on the North Devon Link Road when police flagged him down

A learner driver who reached speeds of 137mph in a police chase which ended when his car blew up has been jailed.

Leon Lloyd was driving the Subaru Impreza in July when police in Devon tried to stop him for having no insurance, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Lloyd, 23, of Skelmersdale, admitted dangerous driving and driving with no insurance or licence.

He was jailed for eight months for what the judge called "shockingly dangerous" driving.

Smoke billowing

Lloyd was driving the newly-bought car from Bude in Cornwall to Merseyside when he was flagged down on the A361 North Devon Link Road at about 15:50 BST on Saturday 20 July.

He moved to pull into a layby but took off at such high speeds that police struggled to keep up, the court heard.

He covered nine miles between South Molton and Tiverton on the A361 in just four and a half minutes, meaning an average speed of 120mph in a 60mph limit.

Police lost sight of the car twice before they found it with smoke billowing from a blown engine.

Also banning him from driving for three years, Judge Timothy Rose told Lloyd there was "no way you could have a vehicle travelling at that speed under control".

He said: "One slight hiccup... would have caused a collision with possible multiple fatalities."

Defending, Mary McCarthy said Lloyd, who had been helping his uncle run a Spanish dog rescue charity, had come back to Britain to take his driving test.

A probation report said Lloyd panicked when he saw the police car, that he was very sorry for his behaviour and accepted it lacked maturity and ability to anticipate the consequences.

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