Derbyshire driver jailed after leaving injured baby and partner in upturned smoking car after high-speed police chase

Jailed: Liam Swinfield
Jailed: Liam Swinfield

A dangerous driver left his injured one-year-old son and his partner in a smoking car after he flipped it on to its roof following a high-speed chase through Long Eaton.

Derby Crown Court heard how Liam Swinfield collided with four other vehicles during his bid to escape pursuing cops.

The car flipped and caught fire.

The car flipped and caught fire.

The 25-year-old, who was unlicensed and uninsured, mounted a pavement, took a roundabout the wrong way and then hit the last car, flipping his Vauxhall Corsa on to its roof.

Telling his partner that he had to go, he left her and their son in the upturned vehicle before jumping into a nearby canal.

But realising he couldn’t swim, Swinfield then begged a police officer to pull him from the water. The officer in question was holding Swinfield’s baby at the time, having removed the child from the upturned vehicle.

Jailing him for 18 months, Recorder Simon King, said: “This was as dangerous as it is possible to get without it resulting in death or serious injury not only to your partner and son but to other road users.

“The horrible irony is that the two people who suffered the most serious injuries, although thankfully they were not too serious, were your partner and young son who you left abandoned in the car which you flipped.

“The maximum sentence I can give you is two years and I am obliged to give you 25 per cent credit for your guilty plea.

“Be assured that if there was a more serious punishment available to me I would have no hesitation to handing it to you.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, played CCTV footage of part of the chase to the court.

It showed officers begin to follow Swinfield, in Nottingham Road, before he accelerates into Cleveland Avenue, reaching more than 50mph in a 30mph street.

Swinfield then speeds down Lansdown Grove, Florence Avenue, Norfolk Road, back on the Nottingham Road, Market Place and finally on to Tamworth Road where he collides with the final vehicle and ends up on the roof.

Miss Slater said: “In a statement, his partner said she was asking him to stop and he was telling her it would be okay.

“She said she remembers being in the car with it on the roof and with their child in a seat in the back.

“She said he said to her ‘I have got to go’ and left her and the baby in the car which, by now, was smoking.”

Miss Slater said the woman and baby were freed from the car and, as one of the officers was holding the baby, Swinfield was calling for help to get him out of the canal as he could not swim.

He was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop following an accident and to driving without insurance or a valid licence.

The incident happened at 2.15pm on Saturday, January 12, involved a Vauxhall Corsa and closed part of Tamworth Road, in Long Eaton.