'You need to grow up' judge tells young dad after his 'stupid' actions

Shane Oliver
Shane Oliver -Credit:Merseyside Police

A young dad was told to 'grow up' by a judge after a 90mph police chase ended in dramatic fashion.

Shane Oliver caused thousands of pounds of damage when he smashed the car into the beer garden of the Weld Blundell in Lydiate. He was yesterday told that he was lucky not to have killed a fellow road user in what a judge branded as "some of the most appalling, dangerous and reckless driving" he had witnessed during his career.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Wednesday that patrols spotted the Range Rover Evoque on Pendle Drive in Ormskirk at around 1.30pm on July 26 last year. When the vehicle's detailed were checked, officers found that only two women and a man in his 60s were insured to drive the car and decided to follow it upon observing that the driver was in his 20s.

READ MORE: Michael Riccio accused of sourcing guns for 'retribution' on 'WhatsApp for criminals'

READ MORE: Curtis Warren pictured leaving court after pleading not guilty to 18 charges

Derek Jones, prosecuting, described how Oliver then made off at speed. A pursuit then persisted over the following five minutes, during which time the 22-year-old drove the wrong way through junctions, anti-clockwise around a roundabout and at speeds of up to 80mph in residential areas.

Dashcam footage captured by the pursuing police car showed him reaching 90mph on the A59 and travelling into oncoming traffic on the dual carriageway. He also ran a red light and narrowly avoided crashes with other vehicles, a pedestrian and a cyclist.

The chase only ended when Oliver crashed the car, which his girlfriend was said to have purchased using inheritance money, into the rear of a wall in the pub's beer garden - causing more than £17,000 of damage. He then began "garden hopping" in a bid to escape on foot, but was subsequently detained and found to be more than three times the legal limit for cannabis.

The dad-of-two also only had a provisional driving licence. Oliver has eight previous convictions for 11 offences, all for possession of the class B drug and breaching court orders.

John Rowan, defending, told the court: "He has two young children who are two years of age and five months, his partner having been pregnant at the time. They all live together in stable accommodation.

"He is not in employment, and neither is she. I think immaturity has played a massive role in the issues that underpin this offending.

"He knows how serious this is. He has known since he crashed into the wall of that pub that this day would come and, for the first time in his life, he would perhaps lose his liberty.

"This is a serious offence of its type. He has come to court today prepared, and has told me today that he would be naïve to expect that he would not leave this building by a very different door to the one he entered by this morning.

"He knows he could have seriously injured or killed somebody during the course of those five minutes in July last year. He understands that it is perhaps by luck rather than skill that no injury was caused.

"He tells me that there has not been a day where he has not imagined the devastating consequences that may have unfolded by this appalling, stupid and disgraceful piece of driving.

"Shane Oliver is a young man who has struggled for many years with cannabis issues. He is actively working on his cannabis use.

"The last two years, since his first child was born, have woken this defendant up to his use of cannabis and where his life is heading. He does want to be a good father, he does want to obtain good employment and he does want to come off cannabis.

"He does need to mature very quickly in order to achieve those goals. The thought of going to prison is something that terrifies him.

"He cannot come to terms with why he put his foot down that day. Perhaps it was likely to do with the fact that he should not have been in the car.

"This is maybe the wake up call this young man needs to turn his life around. He was not going anywhere in particular, he decided he wanted to have a go on the car."

Oliver admitted dangerous driving, criminal damage, drug driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. Wearing a black Nike tracksuit top in the dock, he was jailed for a year.

Sentencing, Judge David Swinnerton said: "The driving which we have seen clips of is some of the most appalling, dangerous and reckless driving I have ever had to watch. The vehicle you were driving - being driven like that, at speed - is a lethal weapon.

"You are lucky you did not kill somebody. You eventually smashed the vehicle into the back wall of a pub garden, causing it to explode into the pub garden.

"It is lucky that nobody was in the garden having a cigarette at lunchtime anywhere near that wall. They could very, very easily have been killed or seriously injured.

"You made off in that ridiculously dangerous fashion. The chaos went on for five minutes plus.

"A lot of people were about including pedestrians, school children, people on bicycles and lots of other drivers - some of whom were forced to take evasive action. You need to start growing up before you seriously injure yourself or somebody else going about their day to day life.

"This is such a bad piece of driving that, in my judgement, the only appropriate sentence is one of immediate custody. You cannot drive like that, putting people at that level of risk, without expecting to go to prison.

"It was a terrible piece of driving. You will be out relatively soon - make sure that you act as a responsible parent rather than the danger you acted to other people on this occasion."

Oliver was also banned from driving for 18 months. He will be required to pass an extended retest before being allowed back on the roads.

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here