Reckless A5 racers jailed after car flipped and smashed into Cannock DFS shop

Two "utterly reckless" drivers who were racing along the A5 when one of their cars flipped over and crashed into a DFS store have been locked up.

The scene at DFS in Cannock, after a car crashed into the store in May 2019
The scene at DFS in Cannock, after a car crashed into the store in May 2019

Jordan Powers, who was driving the VW Scirocco which hit the shop, has been jailed alongside Mark Cole, who he had been racing before the early-hours crash happened in May 2019.

An unmarked police car had been pursuing the men before 27-year-old Powers' car left the road, overturned and hit the front of the furniture shop at Longford Island in Cannock at around 3.45am.

Powers, of Victor Street, Pelsall, was left with life-changing injuries alongside his 34-year-old passenger. Both men were thrown from the written-off car which ended up on its side wedged between bollards and the smashed windows of the DFS, which is set back from the roundabout on Roman Way Retail Park.

Powers pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at a magistrates court hearing in September last year.

WATCH: CCTV of the crash

Cole, 57 and of Banbury Road, Cannock, had initially pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving but changed his plea at a hearing in February this year.

The two men, whose driving was described as "beyond appalling" by police, have now been sentenced to a combined four years in prison.

Powers was jailed for 32 months in prison and disqualified from driving for five years, while Cole was sentenced to 17 months behind bars and disqualified from driving for two years and five months.

Sentencing them, Judge Jonathan Gosling said: “Their driving was grossly irresponsible and utterly reckless and that Mr Cole had tried to save his own skin and had egged on Mr Powers by racing with him."

The crash happened at around 3.45am

The sentencing came after a Newton hearing at Stafford Crown Court in March determined that the two men had been racing along the A5 in the build-up to the crash.

The hearing, where a judge determines the facts of a case without a jury present, was needed because Cole disputed the evidence put forward by the prosecution as to why he had been driving the way he had.

Sergeant Rich Moors, from the Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “The standard of driving of both Cole and Powers was beyond appalling that morning.

"The injuries sustained by Powers and his passenger will have long lasting effects for both of them.

"I would implore drivers to remain within the speed limit and not to race on the roads. Such actions, as demonstrated here, can have life-changing consequences for all those involved.”

Both men will be required to take an extended driving test before being allowed behind the wheel again.

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