6:00am Tuesday 10th December 2013
A IRRESPONSIBLE Rowley Regis man took his pregnant girlfriend and two children on a family trip with a difference in his £200 Fiat Punto - a high speed police chase.
After chasing 21-year-old Jason Rothero through the streets at 60mph in a 30mph police officers were shocked to find his heavily pregnant girlfriend in the passenger seat and two young children in the back.
Rothero was jailed for eight months after Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he endangered the lives of all the passengers and other drivers by speeding on the wrong side of the road and even overtook another car on a bridge.
Judge Michael Dudley told Jason Rothero: "If you had hit anything while you were driving at 60mph in a 30mph area there would have been very significant injury to your passengers.
Rothero had appeared before courts in the past for offences including aggravated vehicle taking and he had failed to take advantage of the opportunities he had been given.
The judge added: "This is an offence too far, it is a bad case of dangerous driving given that you had your pregnant partner and two children aged three and five in the car."
Rothero of Mincing Lane admitted driving dangerously and without insurance or a licence and he was further disqualified from driving for two years.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the vehicle being driven by Rothero - a Fiat Punto he told police officers he had bought for just £200.
Mr Mark Phillips prosecuting said patrolling police officers saw Rothero come close to going through traffic lights on red and when they followed he accelerated away.
During the ensuing chase Rothero drove on the wrong side of the road and also overtook on a bridge when fortunately there was nothing come from the opposite direction.
Rothero finally brought his car to a halt, there had been no collision and no other drivers had been forced to take action to avoid an accident, said Mr Phillips.
But the officers were immediately concerned when they saw Rothero had the two young children on the rear seat of the car. They were wearing seat belts but there were no booster seats to give them extra protection.
Mr Gurdeep Garcha defending said Rothero accepted it was a "poor piece of driving" and added: "He realises what he did could have had catastrophic consequences.
"He made a stupid mistake having bought the car to try and make things easier for his heavily pregnant partner."
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