A man has been jailed for stealing a Stagecoach bus and taking it on a five-mile joyride in which he demolished a traffic light and narrowly missed oncoming traffic.
Daylan Corrigan broke into the bus station at Paignton in the early hours of the morning and took a single-decker which he drove recklessly out of the town and onto the ring road.
Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted by a shocked motorist who saw him take a roundabout so fast that he nearly crashed and swerving all over the road. The other driver said it was ‘unbelievably dangerous’.
Corrigan carried on onto the A380 at Kingskerswell before heading into the centre of Torquay, where police found him struggling to stand up and obviously under the influence of drink or drugs.
He told them he had taken alcohol and cocaine but refused to give a breath or blood test, telling police they were ‘f***ing weirdos’.
The bus company, which helped police find Corrigan through a tracker device, found he had tried to get into other vehicles at the depot and had crashed into a traffic signal as he set off.
He injured himself in the crash and has cuts on his forehead, mouth and cheek in a police mugshot taken later that morning.
Corrigan, aged 26, of no fixed address, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, vehicle interference, driving while disqualified, and failing to provide a specimen.
He was jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for three years after his release by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him: “You caused damage to a traffic light and then drove a considerable distance onto the A380 and elsewhere and drove dangerously, as described by the incredulous statement of the motorist who witnessed it.”
Miss Philippa Harper, prosecuting, said Corrigan took the bus at around 4.30am on 17 October and was reported to police by a driver who was shocked to see a bus driving erratically and at speed on the Hamelin Way ring road in Torbay.
Police contacted Stagecoach, which had already been alerted by a tracker device, and were able to direct officers to Seaway Lane, Torquay, where Corrigan was arrested.
He had previously broken into a Vauxhall Corsa in July and caused £4,000 damage trying and failing to start it.
Mr Martin Salloway, defending, said Corrigan is truly sorry for his behaviour. He said: “He had caring responsibilities and was reacting to the pressure he was under rather than going on an old style joyride.”