Builder is jailed after leading police on car chase through Scarborough villages at over 90mph

Robert Henry Foster
Robert Henry Foster

A road menace seriously injured his friend during a high-speed police chase through villages near Scarborough in which he swerved in and out of traffic at breakneck speeds, mounted a grass verge on two wheels and crashed into a tractor, causing it to topple over.

Robert Henry Foster, 30, drove at speeds of up to 90mph through country villages.

Police became aware of Foster on the A170 at Thornton-le-Dale because he appeared not to be wearing a seatbelt. A check of the national database revealed he wasn’t insured, York Crown Court heard.

See HERE for photos of the damage caused by Foster.

Foster, whose friend was in the passenger seat, sped away towards Scarborough and police gave chase but couldn’t keep up with him as he overtook a series of cars, despite oncoming traffic on windy roads with tight bends and blind crests, said prosecutor Rob Galley.

One female motorist who was overtaken by Foster had to pull into a layby and on to a grass verge to prevent what seemed like an inevitable collision.

The pursuing police car reached 90mph but still couldn’t close the gap on Foster as he sped through Allerston and Ebberston, overtaking a series of vehicles in ‘no-overtaking’ zones and mounting a grass verge on two wheels, his car “almost toppling over”, following another near-miss.

The vehicle then swerved back into the road, crashing into the side of a tractor which toppled over on to its side. The tractor driver suffered minor injuries.

“The defendant’s vehicle came back across the road and came to a standstill,” said Mr Galley.

Foster got out of the car and made a run for it, but police caught up with him.

Foster’s friend suffered a “significant” fracture to his arm and had to undergo surgery to have screws inserted.

Mr Galley told the court that “several motorists had to swerve (out of the way) because of Foster’s “continual swerving” in and out of traffic and crossing the centre white lines.

Foster was also injured and taken to hospital, added the barrister.

The court heard that Foster had three previous convictions for dangerous driving dating back to 2006, when he was a youth. His record also included aggravated vehicle-taking, acquisitive crime, driving while disqualified and violence.

Foster, of Normanby Road, South Bank, Redcar, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and appeared for sentence on Monday. The victim - a long-time friend who was named in court - was in the public gallery along with half a dozen of Foster’s mates.

John Nixon, for Foster, said his client was a hard-working man who made his living as a builder. The married father-of-four “sincerely regretted” his behaviour and he and the victim had been “loyal friends” for about 10 years.

Judge Christopher Batty told Foster: “Serious injury was caused to your friend, but it could have been so much worse.

“Someone could have easily been killed. All this was about you trying to get away from police because you weren’t insured. This is now the fourth time you have been in (trouble) for dangerous driving.”

Foster was jailed for 18 months and given a three-year driving ban, which will take effect when he is released from prison halfway through his sentence.