A DRUNK driver ploughed through a crowd of mourners at Nuneaton Crematorium as he led police on a chase in a car he had stolen from his dad.
Scott Asson, aged 22, of no fixed address, was jailed for 18 months and banned from driving for four years by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance or licence.
Prosecutor Daniel Oscroft said that on the morning of August 31 Asson had been to his parents’ home where he got
into a disagreement with his father.
He then made off in his father’s Ford Mondeo, which had been parked outside. It was reported to police and the car was picked up on the automatic number plate recognition system in Nuneaton an hour later.
A police officer on patrol followed the car from Roanne Ringway into Church Street.
Because of Asson’s previous convictions for driving offences and taking cars, there was a concern that there would be a pursuit if the officer tried to pull him over, so at first the officer followed the Mondeo while it was keeping to the 30mph limit.
But Asson overtook another car and accelerated away at 40mph, causing other cars to swerve out of his way, before increasing his speed to around 60mph and heading towards Heart of England Way where he turned towards the crematorium.
Mr Oscroft said that with the police car behind him, Asson was trapped – but instead of stopping, he revved his engine and drove straight towards a group of 40 to 50 people gathered at the gates of the crematorium, forcing his way through them into the grounds of the crem.
Police who followed him on foot finally had to forcibly pull him out of the vehicle.
Asson, who had a string of previous convictions involving cars since the age of 15, was found to be five times the legal alcohol limit.
David Munro, defending, said remorseful Asson had lived a “shiftless existence” since being asked to leave the family home two months ago.
He added: “His parents had had enough of him. This is a young man with a real alcohol problem.
“He has written to his father to apologise and to ask his father to visit him in prison. But has had no response and there is no-one in the public gallery today.”
Recorder David Pittaway QC told him his criminal behaviour “has led to a complete breakdown of your relationship with your family”.