A van thief who collided with a family’s car as he sped up the hard shoulder during a police chase has been jailed for 58 weeks and banned from driving for two and a half years.
Lewis Creighton, 21, collided with Nicola Wright’s Vauxhall Astra on the hard shoulder of the M61 at Junction 8 for Chorley while her two children and partner were in the car, ripping off the driver’s side wheel.
Despite the collision, the family only felt the car rock slightly, Preston Crown Court heard.
At the time, Creighton was on bail from three courts.
Judge Stuart Baker said: “It was a bad offence. It was an offence committed at night on a motorway in the dark, obviously, when the motorway was quite congested and that was made worse by the fact two lanes were closed.
“Your method of driving clearly was dangerous. You were crossing lanes without indication. you collided with a stationary vehicle.
“Fortunately for you and them no one seems to have sustained any injury.”
Creighton, of Sandy Lane, Lowton, near Warrington, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and handling stolen registration plates.
Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Geoff Whelan described how van driver Paul Gleave, had the company van stolen from under his nose as he delivered a sunbed in Hindley Green near Wigan.
The stolen van was seen later weaving between lanes and onto the hard shoulder at 70mph as police chased it. It did not stop after the crash and only stopped when a stinger burst its tyres.
Defending, Alison Warley said: “He’s had a troubled upbringing, his father was alcoholic. Notwithstanding that he had a good education.”