Car firm worker in drunken crash in Leeds

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A MERCEDES Benz worker drove a company car at three times the speed limit during a police chase while drunk.

Jonathan Clarke, 23, was arrested after he wrote the vehicle off when he crashed into traffic lights during the pursuit on York Road in Leeds.

As he was arrested Clarke told officers: “That’s it. I work for Mercedes and I have lost my job. I nearly lost you though.”

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Leeds Crown Court heard officers spotted Clarke driving at speed along South Parkway at 3.40am on Saturday June 13 this year. The officers followed Clarke before indicating for him to stop but he sped off.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said Clarke drove at 60mph in a 30mph zone before increasing his speed to 80mph as he drove over speed humps.

He drove across mini roundabouts and through a chicane, causing oncoming vehicles to stop to avoid a collision.

Clarke reached 90mph before turning into the wrong carriageway on York Road and driving against the flow of traffic.

He lost control of the car at a junction and ploughed in a traffic light, causing it to lose power. Clarke, of Kelcbar Close, Tadcaster, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink driving.

The court heard Clarke has now been sacked from his job with Mercedes and the company were taking action against him to recover the cost of the vehicle. Clarke was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Recorder Tony Hawks said: “No doubt because you had been drinking and you knew the consequences of that you panicked and thought you could get away from the police.

“It is lucky you weren’t killed. It is lucky you did not kill somebody else.”

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