Race starter and 18 racers receive driving bans totalling 302 months
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We have successfully prosecuted a race starter for the first time after he received a 26 month driving ban – along with 19 drivers found racing - for his involvement in a street race in Clacton.
James Turner, 28, from Tyler Avenue, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday 13 March where he was disqualified and was ordered to pay a £320 in costs and fines.
He admitted one count of taking part in a race between motor vehicles on public way after it was found he played a key part in the races we witnessed.
Turner was one of 20 people convicted for racing offences with driving bans issued totalling 302 months – over 25 years – and fines and costs issued that totalled £8,997.
On Sunday 23 June 2019, we receive multiple calls about racing at an industrial estate in Stephenson Road, Little Clacton.
A significant number of drivers had gathered on both sides of the road as well as side roads and business parking areas and racing was obviously taking place.
Turner was seen organising the vehicles and overseeing the race line. He was seen starting dozens of races with a drop of his arms.
We attended and the cars left the scene and after reviewing CCTV – including viewing 850 car movements – we had sufficient evidence to bring 20 people to court.
Sergeant Simon Wilsher has been leading Operation Calla that targets people either cruising or racing in Essex.
He said: “This is a first for us at Essex Police with a race starter, someone who didn’t even get in a vehicle, receiving a lengthy driving ban.
“In fact, he received the longest disqualification out of the 20 prosecuted.
“All the defendants found racing were convicted of having no insurance because their policies did not cover them for racing.
“A number were convicted of careless driving in addition to a racing offence after being found drifting and skidding between races and one man is due be sentenced for dangerous driving offences after being caught driving with people on top of his car.
“These convictions were only made possible thanks to the hard work of case management officer, Jemma Carr, who went above and beyond to provide the court with as much evidence as possible, and Special Constable Ricky Brown who collated as much CCTV as possible.
“We used powers to obtain CCTV locally, meaning we quickly identified the main offenders involved.
“This case should highlight that we will not tolerate racing on our roads. It’s dangerous and can put you and other road users at risk of serious injury or death.
“Even if you’re not sitting in a car but are found to be a key part of the events – in this case a race starter – you may also find yourself before court where you will receive a lengthy driving ban, costs and fines.”
Lee O’Brien, 18, of Holland Road, Clacton, is due to be sentenced at a later date after being found guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 21 January of dangerous driving and aiding and abetting dangerous driving.
He admitted driving with no insurance and racing on the highway.
The others convicted were:
James Bennett, 19, of Manor Road, Great Holland - banned for 13 months and will pay fines totalling £370;
Jake Brundell, 26, of Manor Road, Great Holland; banned for 13 months and will pay fines and totalling £518;
Samuel Green, 21, of Glebe View, West Mersea, banned for 16 months and will pay fines totalling £497. He also admitted careless driving;
Simon Watson, 27, of Almond Close, Clacton, banned for 21 months and will pay fines totalling £606. He also admitted careless driving;
John Kirby, 19, of Warde Chase, Walton-on-the-Naze, banned for 19 months and will pay fines totalling £438;
Oliver Robartes, 20, of Planton Way, Brightlingsea, banned for 21 months and will pay fines totalling £502;
Jack Patterson, 20, of Boxted Road, Great Horksley, banned for 14 months and will pay fines totalling £1,041. He admitted careless driving;
Harry Honeyman, 21, of Baytree Close, Manningtree, banned for 12 months and will pay fines totalling £543;
Jack Furzer, 21, of Hastings Avenue, Colchester, banned for 14 months and will pay fines totalling £640. He admitted driving with no front registration plate;
Jack Taylor, 26, of Cotman Road, Clacton, banned for 13 months and will pay fines totalling £240. He admitted careless driving.
Benjamin Doherty, 27, of Hythe Hill, Colchester, who was banned for 16 months and will pay fines totalling £240;
George Thompson, 19, of Byng Crescent, Thorpe-le-Soken, who was banned for 12 months and will pay fines totalling £519;
Zac Dale, 22, of Field Way, Wivenhoe, was banned for 12 months and will pay fines totalling £482. He also admitted having an obscured front number plate;
Luke Felgate, 20, of Pevensey Drive, Clacton, was banned for 18 months and will pay fines totalling £475;
Jack Robertson, 21, of Tyehurst Crescent, Colchester, was banned for 12 months and will pay fines totalling £475;
Joshua Foskew, 20, of Portsmouth Road, Clacton, was banned for 18 months and will pay fines totalling £376;
Joshua Creswell, 26, of Christmund Way, Colchester, was banned for 12 months and will pay fines totalling £240;
Tommy Broadway, 20, of Artillery Street, Colchester, was banned for 20 months and will pay £475 in fines. He also admitted careless driving.