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Driver and passenger convicted of breaching car cruise ban

Two men have been convicted of breaching an injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country.

Robert Darby, 25, of Wordsley, and Mark Guest, 35, of Tipton, yesterday (Thursday 7 January, 2016) admitted contempt of court after participating in a car cruise in Wolverhampton last October.

The High Court, sitting at Birmingham, heard that the incident occurred on the Black Country Route in the Springvale area of the city on Sunday 25 October, 2015.

Police were called and witnessed a large gathering of around 30 vehicles and at least 20 people standing around. Darby was driving one of the vehicles and Guest was his passenger. Police said that, had they not arrived when they did, road racing would have taken place.

Car cruising - the act of drivers meeting on the public highway on either an organised or impromptu basis to race or show off in their cars - is noisy, dangerous and illegal.

To tackle the problem, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils, working in partnership with West Midlands Police, secured a ground breaking injunction from the High Court which came into force in February 2015.

It bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within the four boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall - or from promoting, organising or publicising any car cruising event in those areas.

Darby and Guest admitted contempt of court by breaching the injunction and were sentenced to 28 days imprisonment suspended on terms that they comply with the injunction for as long as it remains in force. They were also each ordered to pay £443.63 towards the City of Wolverhampton Council's costs.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is vital that strong action is taken to prevent car cruises taking place and deter those who are considering taking part in this activity, and I welcome yesterday's conviction of two individuals for breaching the injunction.

"For too long, people in Wolverhampton - particularly in the Ettingshall and Springvale areas - were plagued by car cruising.

"Residents told us that noise deprived them and their families of sleep, while others reported that it caused items in their home to shake and vibrate. Another witness who inadvertently got caught up in a previous car cruise on the Black Country Route described how she had to pull off the road to escape and was left physically shaking and petrified by the incident.

"The injunction has had an extremely positive impact across the Black Country, significantly reducing the problem and actually eliminating it altogether from certain hotspots.

"It is disappointing that some people still think it is acceptable to take part in this anti-social, illegal and dangerous activity, but the authorities have demonstrated once again that they won't hesitate to take action to bring perpetrators to book."

Yesterday's case was brought by the City of Wolverhampton Council and presented by the council's legal services solicitor-advocate with the support of West Midlands Police. It was the first breach to be prosecuted by the council.

Last July an 18 year old from Walsall admitted breaching the injunction in a case brought by Sandwell Council by racing another car at speed in a 40mph zone in West Bromwich. He was found guilty of contempt of court band handed a three-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £500 costs and warned he faced prison if he breached the injunction again.

To read a copy of the injunction, and for more information, please visit Car cruising injunction. People who witness car cruising on roads or public places in the Black Country are urged to call West Midlands Police on 101.

  • released: Friday 8 January, 2016