A LEDBURY man caught ‘drifting’ his modified BMW around a roundabout with his young daughter strapped loosely into a car seat has admitted dangerous driving.
Stablehand Daniel Moore was handed an 18-month driving ban, a £2,000 fine and told to hand over the keys to his stripped-down off-road racer when he appeared at Hereford Crown Court last Friday.
Judge Toby Hooper told Moore, who is 26 and from the Hop Kilns, Lilly Hall Farm, that he was a “very lucky man”.
He said: “The fact your daughter was in the car was an aggravating factor - and a chilling reminder of what could have gone wrong.”
Moore was seen by officers in Malvern driving the car at speed in the early hours of the morning.
He was, the court heard, allowing the car’s back end to ‘slip out’ so that the front of the car faced the grass in the middle of the roundabout.
He then accelerated off with police in pursuit.
When the squad car caught up with Moore, one of the officers noticed a small foot in the rear of the cabin, Giles Parker, prosecuting, told the court.
Upon further examination the officers noted the child’s car seat was strapped, using a seatbelt, to the metal framework of the car’s stripped-down back seat.
Moore was issued with a caution, a prohibition order preventing him from driving the vehicle until it was deemed roadworthy – the steering having been welded so as to allow the car to ‘drift’ round corners – and banned from driving for 12 months.
However nine months later he was spotted driving the car through Cradley with the modifications still in place and 110 miles clocked since he was last stopped.
He was, said Stephen Davis, defending, driving to the stables having been kicked out of his house by his partner the night before.
The extra mileage, the court heard, was from off-roading events he had taken part in.
“You are a fool,” Judge Hooper told Moore, adding that his life was poised on a knife edge.
However he praised Moore’s work at a prestigious local stables – where he rides racehorses – and placed his faith in the stabilising nature of a good career, and a young family, to ensure that he remained a law-abiding citizen in the future.
As a reminder, however, Moore was also issued with a four-month curfew from 9pm to 6am.
The second driving ban, of 18 months, will be served concurrently with Moore’s initial ban and two further counts – driving without a license and driving without insurance – will be endorsed on his record.