Airbag evidence led to arrest of Leeds dangerous driver

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A DRIVER who fled after ploughing into a car during police chase was arrested after his DNA was found on the airbag of his vehicle.

Ramone Hazel, 21, did not have a driving licence or insurance when he was spotted by police on Woodhouse Road, Leeds, on June 1 this year.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said Hazel suddenly changed changed direction near to Cambridge Road after seeing the officers.

The officers indicated for Hazel to stop but he sped off along Shay Street, narrowly avoiding a collision with another car.

Hazel then continued to drive dangerously on St Mark’s Road and Leicester Place. He came close to mounting a pavement and hitting a pedestrian as he lost control of the car. Hazel’s Renault Clio then struck a parked Fiat. Hazel and two male passengers got out and fled. The two passengers were stopped after a chase but Hazel managed to get away.

He was arrested after forensic officers examined the vehicle and his DNA was discovered on the airbag. Hazel, of Servia Drive, Little London, Leeds, was arrested and initially refused to comment about the incident.

He later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving without insurance. The court heard the car Hazel was driving belonged to a friend who had bought the vehicle earlier on the day of the incident and allowed him to borrow it. Cara Frith, mitigating, said: “In a moment of madness he drove off and he knows that was entirely the wrong thing to do.”

Ms Frith said the pursuit was over a distance of about 0.8 miles.

She added: “Although it is a serious incident it is a relatively brief incident.”

Ms Frith said Hazel came from a difficult family background and was struggling financially.

The lawyer added that Hazel lacked maturity but had been trying hard to gain qualifications and find a job.

Hazel was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work and told to attend a 30-day programme designed to address his offending. Hazel was also disqualified from driving for two years. Judge Neil Clark also ordered that the Renault Clio be confiscated.

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