Banned driver led Leeds police on city chase

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A BANNED driver who ran a red light and drove on the wrong side of the road during a police chase in Leeds has been jailed for nine months.

Marlon Stewart, 28, of Hawthorn Mount, Chapel Allerton, drove at more than 50mph in 30mph zones after he sped away from police, Leeds Crown Court heard. Prosecutor John Bull said police spotted disqualified and uninsured driver Stewart behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Vectra on Harehills Lane near Leeds city centre just before 12pm on Saturday February 2.

Stewart failed to stop and accelerated away from police as he drove on the wrong side of Beckett Street while weaving through traffic. Mr Bull said Stewart drove through a red light on Acorn Road, causing other drivers to brake, before travelling the wrong way round a roundabout.

Police then lost sight of Stewart, but members of the public directed officers to where he had been heading.

Officers spotted the Vectra parked outside a house on Cartmell Court in the East End Park area of Leeds and knocked on the door of the house. Stewart answered the door and was arrested, searched and found to have a small amount of cocaine.

Stewart admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance, failing to stop, possessing Class A drugs and failing to surrender to bail. The court heard he has 12 previous convictions for 17 offences including driving while disqualified and drink driving.

Mitigating, Michael Greenhalgh said: “Mr Stewart panicked and tried to evade capture in the hope it would all go away. All he succeeded in doing was to make things significantly worse.”

Jailing Stewart for nine months and banning him from driving for two years, Judge Peter Benson told him: “Although it wasn’t a prolonged piece of driving, it was dangerous enough in itself. It’s fortunate nobody was injured.”

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