A DRIVER who chased his love rival “bumper to bumper” at up to 100 mph through residential streets has been jailed.

York Crown Court heard it was “miraculous” no-one was killed and one resident escaped death by split seconds as Bradley James Kitching, 24, “hunted” fellow car enthusiast John Sheldon Carey, 27, through 20mph and 30mph speed limits in Heworth and Stockton-on-the-Forest.

Both men were driving souped-up cars.

Chris Dunn, prosecuting, said: “It is about a girl.”

He said the woman, also a car enthusiast, “was playing one defendant off against another, indicating to Kitching she was sorry she had had a sexual relationship with Mr Carey whilst still behind the scenes texting to Carey she wanted to see him.”

Kitching’s modified Mini hit a speed bump at high speed in the main street of Stockton-on-the-Forest, wrecking its sump, and careered out of control over two grass verges before ending up in a garden pond. His two passengers were both seriously injured, said Mr Dunn.

Carey’s modified Astra crashed into a tree at a junction after going through the village and burst into flames.

“It is nothing short of miraculous no-one was killed,” said Mr Dunn.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris said: “Young men in hot hatches need to know they are driving lethal weapons. Driving of this kind is so serious it cannot be met by suspended sentences.

"You drive around the lanes and streets of York at speeds like this, you are going to go away, because it may save a life."

Jailing Kitching for nine months and banning him from driving for 16 months, he said: "You very nearly killed someone that night, someone turning into their driveway.”

Kitching, of Moor Avenue, Wetherby, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Carey, of Orchard Gardens, Huntington, denied dangerous driving on the grounds Kitching would have killed or seriously harmed him if he had stopped and was acquitted at the end of a five-day trial. He pleaded guilty to obtaining insurance by false pretences by not telling the insurers about his six points for speeding and having an insecure battery or how he had modified his car.

For Kitching, Victoria Smith-Swain said he had behaved out of character and had learnt a very severe lesson.

Carey was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Carey told the jury he had lost £12,500 when his car was destroyed because the insurance company cancelled his policy on learning about his deception. His solicitor advocate Philip Morris said the chase had had a “devastating” effect on him. He was still paying £300 a month two years later on its hire purchase agreement.

The love triangle that turned into a 100 mph pursuit

The jury at York Crown Court heard that John Sheldon Carey had sex in his car with Bradley James Kitching’s girlfriend in early October 2019.

When Kitching learnt of this, he and his friends went in 10 cars to park in Carey’s home road and repeatedly check whether he was at home on October 9, 2017.

Carey was out and wasn't responding to messages.

Text messages seen by the jury spoke of Kitching getting a metal bar, and him suggesting that one of his friends put a balaclava on.

The next evening, he and two friends set out from Tadcaster to York to “hunt” for Carey.

At about 11.50pm on October 10, Carey was heading home on Heworth Green in his car, when Kitching in his car passed him going the other way.

Kitching spun 180 degrees and set off at high speed after Carey, who headed away from his home, up Stockton Lane and along Sandy Lane, Stockton-on-the-Forest.

Witnesses told police later the two cars had been “bumper to bumper” at 100 mph.

Carey told the jury he had been panicking and desperate to get away from Kitching.

Mr Chris Dunn, for the prosecution said after the two crashes, Kitching contacted his friends lying seriously injured in hospital to try and get them to agree on their story for the evening.