‘Menace on the road’ jailed for extra 28 days after making comments to judge
PUBLISHED: 15:04 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 22 August 2019
A banned motorist described as a “menace on the road” who drove dangerously through Norwich city centre got an extra 28 days behind bars for answering back to the judge.
Lee Cletheroe, 33, refused to stop for police when he was spotted behind the wheel of a Citroen, on March 28, this year, on Surrey Street and made off driving through a red light and causing a cyclist to pull up.
He was finally arrested after crashing in the Bracondale area, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Cletheroe, of no fixed address, admitted dangerous driving and making off without payment of £30 worth of fuel and driving while disqualified.
He was also found guilty following a trial of aggravated vehicle taking when he took a Citroen car without consent between March 25 and 29, and caused damage to the vehicle.
The court heard during the trial that the car belonged to a single mother, who relied on the vehicle to take her children to school and hospital appointments.
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Jailing him for 20 months and imposing a five year driving ban, Judge Andrew Shaw told Cletheroe he had an "appalling" record and had taken a car of a single mother to go "joyriding" shortly after his release from prison.
He said: "There is no joy at all for those who lose their cars."
He said it was fortunate that no one was injured by his driving and said he had also put the police officers involved at risk: "You are a menace on the road. You are extremely fortunate never to have killed or seriously injured some one."
As he was making his sentencing remarks Cletheroe kept muttering comments from the dock, despite the judge warning him to be silent as he was passing sentence.
Judge Shaw warned him the matter was no joke and said his behaviour showed an absence of remorse for his "utterly selfish" behaviour in trying to evade police.
He imposed an extra 28 days for contempt of court and told him that his sentences would only get longer if he continued to commit driving offences: "The duty of the court is to do its best to protect the public."
Dudley Beal, for Cletheroe, said: "The dangerous driving was not for a prolonged period and the risk to road users was minimal. There was a cyclist who had to stop."
He said he had taken the car on impulse.
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