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Rush Green boy, 16, pleads guilty to dangerous driving after police chase ends in Hornchurch crash

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 19 August 2019

Barkingside Magistrates Court. Picture: Ken Mears

Barkingside Magistrates Court. Picture: Ken Mears

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A 16-year-old boy from Rush Green who was a passenger in a stolen van which was travelling at 75mph in a 30mph zone while being chased by police was "lucky" not to have died when it crashed, a court heard.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was the passenger in a van, which had been stolen from an address in Romford some months before, as it was being driven dangerously in Hornchurch Road.

The driver, who has never been traced, failed to stop for police on July 4, prompting a pursuit.

The van, being driven on false number plates, got up to speeds of 75mph and drove the wrong way around a roundabout before skidding and crashing into a railing, the court heard.

The pair then abandoned the vehicle, but the 16-year-old passenger was later found in Bradwell Avenue.

The boy pleaded guilty at Barkingside Magistrates' Court today (Monday, August 19) to one count of aggravated vehicle taking as a passenger and dangerous driving.

Defending, Bartholomew Dalton said: "He accepts that he knew the driver wasn't the owner of the car.

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"It's unfortunate that it's him before the court on this occasion rather than the driver who should bear greater responsibility.

"There's no evidence that he encouraged the driver to behave in the way he did. He immediately told police he was the passenger.

"He accepts he behaved stupidly and should never have got in the car.

"He has pleaded guilty and he should be given full credit for that and his situation shows signs of promise in terms of college."

Mr Dalton added that the boy, who said he hopes to be a mechanic, had already attended appointments with the youth offending team and had "engaged well" so far.

Chief magistrate Rosalind Reynolds said the boy was "lucky" not to have died when the vehicle crashed and asked him to think about how his family would have felt if he had.

The boy told the court: "I wasn't making the right decisions. I keep making the wrong decisions."

The boy was given an interim disqualification from driving any vehicle and will be sentenced on September 9 at the same court.

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