Career in balance for student over ‘rash’ act

York Crown Court
York Crown Court
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A student’s career as a mental health nurse faces ruin after she let a disqualified driver take her car for a spin whichende in a police chase.

Sarah Wilson, 25, was within hours of finsihing the course whe she let Michael Raisbeck take the car and lied to police saying she hadn’t given permission.

Raisbeck, 28, crashed the vehicle into two parked cars following a high-speed police chase through the streets of Whitby for an unconnected matter.

Wilson, of Bagdale, appeared for sentence at York Crown Court on Friday after admitting perverting the course of justice on September 27.

Prosecutor Jessica Strange said on that day, police spotted the Suzuki being driven by Raisbeck - with Wilson’s boyfriend in the passenger seat - and gave chase. Raisbeck sped off and crashed into two parked cars in Wellington Terrace. He ran from the car, leaving behind Wilson’s boyfriend, bleeding from a cut lip. Police caught Raisbeck and seized two packets of cocaine.

He was charged with dangerous driving, possessing Class A drugs, driving while disqualified, and having no licence or insurance. He was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence, with a four-year driving ban earlier this year.

Wilson’s boyfriend’s account, supported by CCTV footage, was she gave the keys and he initially drove before Raisbeck took over. Ms Strange said it was unclear why Wilson - who sobbed throughout the hearing - had given police a false statement, but surmised it could have had something to do with preventing her boyfriend, a disqualified driver, from getting into trouble.

Defence barrister Andrew Semple said Wilson now faced a disciplinary to decide whether she could complete the university course, but the likelihood was that she would be denied the qualification due to her “rash” behaviour.

Mr Recorder Macdonald QC said Wilson had made a “tragic error of judgement” which had arisen from her incongruous friendship with Raisbeck. He gave Wilson a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work and a £60 statutory surcharge.