Pair escape driving bans after incident in Sunderland city centre

Two motorists have escaped driving bans after an incident in Sunderland city centre.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 4:59 pm
The two cars were spotted on police car CCTV at the traffic lights by Wearmouth Bridge. Pictures: Northumbria Police

Brandon Boyes, 21, and Braden Little, 24, were spotted revving their engines at a red light by Wearmouth Bridge before driving off and were described by a police officer as “racing hard”, magistrates heard.

Boyes, of Heaton Gardens, in South Shields, was convicted of careless driving after a trial at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. He had pleaded guilty to driving without insurance.

Little, of Helen Street in Sunderland, pleaded guilty to careless driving at a separate hearing. A charge of taking part in a race between motor vehicles on a public way was dismissed with no evidence offered.

In this image from the police dashcam, the police car can be seen travelling at 83mph as it tries to catch up with the two cars

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Veteran roads police officer Pc Gary Morris was on duty in a marked car about 9.40pm on April 22 when he spotted to cars standing side by side at the lights just off Wearmouth Bridge.

One car – a white BMW – was being driven by Braden Little, and the other – a dark grey VW Scirocco – was being driven by Brandon Boyes.

Pc Morris said: “I hear the sounds of their engines revving [and] see the two of them accelerating hard as they exit the roundabout.

“It was quite clear from the moment they pulled away from the lights that the two of them intended to outdo each other. Both were racing hard.”

Pc Morris told the court he gave chase along the dual carriageway, but despite reaching speeds of more than 70mph he was unable to get any closer to them.

He added: “They were approaching the roundabout in the region of 80mph.

“It was clearly careless (driving) bordering on dangerous at the speeds they were travelling at.”

Fearing a collision, Pc Morris activated his blue lights as the cars approached another roundabout and the pair eventually pulled over.

He told the court that while he could not say precisely what speed the pair had been driving, he had reached speeds in excess of 70mph without gaining on them.

Interviewed about the incident shortly after, Boyes accepted that he was driving the VW Scirocco but refused to explain the manner of his driving.

When asked what his connection to the driver of the white BMW was, Boyes replied: “I do not have a clue who he is.”

Boyes declined to give evidence at his trial, but argued that he was doing 50mph “at the most” and denied his driving was careless.

District Judge Bernard Begley said he could not be sure that Boyes was guilty of a charge of racing on a public highway.

However, he found him guilty of careless driving.

Boyes’ limited finances were taken into account and he was fined £125. He must also pay £200 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was also given eight penalty points.

At a separate hearing, Little was fined £255 and ordered to pay £95 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. He was given six penalty points.