They appeared at the High Court in Birmingham this morning (Thursday 6 September, 2018) and pleaded guilty to participating in a car cruise in Bilston on the evening of Saturday 17 March, 2018.
A local resident recorded video footage of a number of breaches of the injunction, including a vehicle performing stunts, driving on the wrong side of the road, drifting and doing spins around a roundabout.
Three other vehicles were filmed parked side by side across the road and causing an obstruction on the highway.
Evidence submitted to the court stated that inclement weather on the night had left the road in a treacherous condition, meaning the car cruise, while already unacceptable in good conditions, was “positively reckless” in the circumstances.
Thomas Willis, 23, of Dark Lane, Featherstone, Callum Cunnane, 20, of Holly Lane, Erdington, James Pallett, 18, of Whinberry Rise, Brierley Hill, James Jones, 21, of Paxton Road, Stourbridge, and Wendy Riley, 22, of Bottle Kiln Rise, Brierley Hill, admitted their involvement in the car cruise and will be sentenced on 8 November.
A sixth defendant who was unable to attend had their case deferred for 28 days, while a seventh defendant denied breaching the injunction and will face trail on 7 and 8 November.
Meanwhile, three defendants appeared before the same court to deny charges in relation to a separate car cruise at Springvale Avenue in the early hours of Saturday 10 March. The same witness reported hearing loud engine noises and saw a number of vehicles racing along Springvale Avenue, two-by-two, for approximately 15 minutes. The trio will face trail on 7 and 8 November.
Separately, two individuals were convicted by the High Court on Tuesday 31 July of breaching the same injunction. One pleaded guilty to promoting, organising or publicising a car cruise at the old Wolverhampton bus depot on Dudley Road on 26 January, 2018, while a second individual admitted participating in the event. The pair were fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
Six people had previously pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to promoting, organising or publicising the same event, and also received fines and were ordered to pay costs.
The cases were all 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.
It 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.
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “This injunction has helped to dramatically reduce the menace of car cruising across the Black Country.
“We are continuing to take action against people suspected of breaching the High Court ban, and this latest court action – aided in particular by the vigilance of a local resident – demonstrates that we remain committed to tackling the problem.”
Councillor Val Gibson, Cabinet Member for Governance, added: “The message is clear; if you take part in, organise or promote a car cruise in the Black Country, you will be in breach of the High Court injunction and could face severe consequences.”
The injunction, which will be in place until at least January 2021, 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 in 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.
Anyone breaching the injunction risks of being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to two years in prison and/or a fine. They could also have assets – such as their vehicle – seized and crushed.
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/carcruisingban. Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.