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Man who drove car into pedestrians in Blackpool jailed for five years

A man has been jailed for five years after he drove into pedestrians in Blackpool town centre as they enjoyed a Saturday night out. 

Jake Hartley, 19-years-old, from Rochdale Road in Todmorden, was sentenced today at Preston Crown Court after admitting a string of offences following the incident last month.

Bars and clubs in the resort were put on lockdown immediately after the incident, while three people were taken to hospital after the incident.

The court heard that Hartley injured three people and caused panic in the town, shortly before midnight on Saturday April 14th.

One woman, in her 80s, suffered a broken collarbone, another in her 70s suffered a sprained ankle and cuts and bruises to her legs, and a woman in her 30s suffered a broken tooth, a swollen jaw and bruises to her legs.

Officers were called to the Talbot Square area of Blackpool at 11.50pm on Saturday April 14th following reports a grey Skoda estate had driven at speed colliding with a number of pedestrians.

The vehicle was not displaying registration plates.

Armed officers were deployed and the car was recovered a short time later outside the Norbreck Castle Hotel.

Hartley was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink and/or drugs, causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

He pleaded guilty to a number of charges (below) and appeared at Preston Crown Court today to be sentenced.

PC Chris Hammond, of Lancashire Constabulary’s West Division, said: “Hartley’s driving after he was ejected from the Home and HQ Club was truly shocking and it is only a matter of luck that no-one was seriously injured or killed.

“Innocent members of the public, who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a night out in Blackpool, were held inside bars and clubs for their own safety while we tracked down and arrested Hartley.

 “This was a terrifying incident for everyone involved and our thoughts remain with the three women who were injured.”

Hartley admitted charges of: Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving, Dangerous Driving, two charges of S.47 Assault, possession of a firearm, possession of Knuckle Duster, excess alcohol, no licence, no insurance, aggravated taking a vehicle without consent and Section 39 assault.

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