Man takes stranger's car - and owner's dog - on high speed police pursuit

·2-min read
A police pursuit car
A police pursuit car

A banned motorist led police on a high speed chase after driving off in someone else's Range Rover - with the owner's dog in the back, York Crown Court heard.

Nicholas Brian Oakland, 30, hurtled at 122mph along a major road through weekday afternoon traffic after taking the car in west York, a jury was told.

The dog was injured during the incident.

Lorries and cars had to avoid Oakland as he drove at more than 100mph for long stretches on the wrong side of the A19 and squeezed between vehicles on both sides of the road simultaneously.

The high speed pursuit, which began south of Escrick, ended when he lost control, crashed and the vehicle somersaulted, York Crown Court heard.

Oakland, of Cecilia Place, off Holgate Road, York, was not in court as a jury was shown police footage of the pursuit that began between Escrick and Barlby and finished in a crash on the A163.

Psychiatrists had told the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, that Oakland was unfit to stand trial.

The jury heard how traffic police, a police helicopter and a police dog handler had all combined to handle the incident on February 24 this year.

Matthew Wilson told the court his support dog Jake was in the rear of the Range Rover when he parked it while he nipped into a convenience store in Holgate Road at 4pm.

He didn’t know Oakland. Police sergeant Julian Pearson said he was alerted just after 4pm that the Range Rover had been stolen and caught up with it south of Escrick on the A19.

When Oakland saw the police car he raced off at speed, hitting more than 103mph as he hurtled towards Selby.

At the A163/A19 roundabout he hit the verge as he turned left into the Market Weighton road.

He hit 124mph on the A163.

At Blackwood crossroads west of North Duffield, a second police officer used a stinger to deflate the Range Rover’s tyres, but it kept going at speed until it crashed and landed on its roof.

The dog got out of the car and ran off despite police efforts to catch him. He was later caught by a police dog handler, said Sgt Pearson. Vet Ellie Hornsby told the jury Jake had a bleeding leg but could walk, and otherwise was “reasonably comfortable” when she saw him the same day after police rescued him.

But the next day his condition had deteriorated and he had developed a problem with his neck.

The jury declared that Oakland had caused Jake the dog unnecessary suffering by dangerous driving.

They also declared unanimously after less than an hour deliberation that he had committed the acts of aggravated taking a vehicle without consent, driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving.

The judge ordered that a psychiatrist prepare a report on Oakland before passing sentence and adjourned the case until October 7. Oakland is currently remanded to Hull Prison.