A MAN who crashed his dad’s van head-on into a taxi before fleeing the scene and reporting the vehicle stolen has been jailed.

George Ellis told police that the keys to the van had been pinched during a break-in at his home, with the burglars then taking the vehicle from outside.

But officers soon untangled the 24-year-old’s ‘web of lies’ – with him having been behind the wheel when the vehicle smashed into a taxi as it was driving on the wrong carriageway of Chester Road in Preston Brook.

Ellis was jailed for a year at Chester Crown Court yesterday, Monday.

Warrington Guardian:

George Ellis

The court heard that he had been watching football in a hotel before the head-on crash shortly before 10.30pm on Tuesday, October 23.

More than £30,000 of damage was caused to the taxi, the 25-year-old driver of which was taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries.

Ellis meanwhile fled the scene on foot, and reported at around 6.30am the following morning that his house had been burgled and the van taken.

He also told his insurance company that the vehicle had been stolen.

Warrington Guardian:

More than £30,000 of damage was caused to the taxi

But he was arrested the follow Monday and admitted to officers that he had fabricated his story.

Ellis, from Runcorn, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and perverting the course of justice.

Police constable Stuart Beswick said: “George Ellis reported to us that the keys to his dad’s van had been stolen from his house and the vehicle itself was then stolen from the driveway.

“The truth was that the previous night he had driven it on the wrong side of the road on the way home from watching a football match at a hotel.

“He collided head-on with a taxi, and after briefly talking to the driver he fled the scene on foot.

Warrington Guardian:

Damage caused to Ellis' dad's taxi

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“The taxi driver was left with minor injuries which required hospital treatment and the collision caused extensive damage to both vehicles.

“The consequences of this incident could have been far worse.

“Forty-six people died on Cheshire’s roads last year, with many of these collisions caused by dangerous driving.

“Ellis told a series of lies in a bid to evade justice regarding his dangerous driving, to no avail.

“We are delighted that he is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions and we hope that this case deters others from driving dangerously, fleeing the scene of a collision and attempting to pervert the course of justice.”

Ellis was banned from driving and was told to pay a victim surcharge of £140.

He will be required to take an extended retest before being allowed his driving licence back.