Another individual has appeared before the High Court in Birmingham today (Thursday 11 April, 2019) for sentencing after admitting breaching the ban on car cruising in the Black Country.

Matthew Horton, of Gayfield Avenue, Brierley Hill, pleaded guilty to participating in a car cruise at Springvale Avenue in Bilston on the evening of 14 October, 2018. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £931.

A local resident heard car engine noise, wheels screeching and cheering from the direction of Springvale Avenue at around 8.45pm, and upon investigation witnessed a number of breaches of the injunction which he recorded using his vehicle's dashcam.

A total of 5 vehicles were involved in the car cruise, and were seen overtaking the witness's vehicle at speed, driving in convoy before heading away onto the Black Country Route.

The 25 year old had previously admitted to breaching the injunction on 14 October, 2018, by participating in a car cruise, driving in convoy and causing an obstruction on the highway. 

The court heard that Horton had already been issued with an official warning letter in June 2018 after attending a car cruise at the Old Midlands Bus Depot on Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, on 26 January 2018.

His Honour Judge Worster, sitting as a High Court judge, told Horton: "You've done a very stupid thing; it's not only a very stupid thing but contrary to an injunction granted by this court and which is well known in the locality. You yourself knew about it as you had a warning letter telling you not to do it last year.

"This activity can cause quite serious harm, and the injunction is there to stop people like you causing problems to law abiding citizens. 

“If you were causing danger in the street the sentence would have been a custodial one. You were not, and I am dealing with you in a relatively lenient way, but this order is important and the court will deal with breaches with custodial sentences if appropriate.”

A second defendant, Thomas Dunn of Mayfair, Stourbridge, has previously admitted participating in the same car cruise on 14 October, 2018, and will be sentenced by the High Court on 29 April.

The case was brought by the City of Wolverhampton Council which, together with Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils and West Midlands Police, secured the ground breaking injunction in 2015. 

Lynsey Kelly, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Head of Community Safety, said: “Car cruising is not only illegal and dangerous – it can put the safety of participants and members of the public at risk – but is also anti social, generating late night noise nuisance and disturbances for people living near to hotspots.

“The authorities have once again demonstrated a zero tolerance to car cruising and the message is very clear; people who take part in a car cruise in the Black Country will be in breach of the High Court injunction and will face the consequences.”

The injunction bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell or Walsall, or from promoting, organising or publicising any such event in the same area.

It defines car cruising as:

  • two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3pm and 7am being on a highway or in a publicly accessible place within the Black Country at which any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the prohibited activities listed below which causes, or is capable of causing, any of the prohibited consequences set out below. Participating in car cruising means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on), a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) in circumstances in which the above applies.

The prohibited activities referred to above are:

  • speeding; driving in convoy; racing; performing stunts; sounding horns or playing music as to cause a significant public nuisance; using foul or abusive language; using threatening, intimidating behaviour towards another person; causing obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.

The prohibited consequences referred to above are:

  • excessive noise; danger or risk of injury to road users, including pedestrians; damage or significant risk of damage to property; significant risk of harm; significant public nuisance; significant annoyance to the public.

For more information, please visit Car cruising injunction. Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.