A GANG of car criminals were caught after they filmed themselves during a high speed police chase in which they narrowly avoided knocking down pedestrians as they mounted pavements at speed.
A court heard of the gang could be heard saying “let’s smoke the piggies!” as they tried to outrun officers who spotted them in a stolen Vauxhall Corsa.
Leeds Crown Court heard police gave up the chase because of the dangerous manner in which Scott Bennett was driving the vehicle.
Simon Haring, mitigating, said Bennett drove at 70mph in 40mph zones through the Featherstone area.
Vehicles on Commonside Lane had to do emergency stops to avoid a collision. The car also went straight across a roundabout and came close to hitting bin men working on Cemetery Lane.
The car was also driven down an alleyway barely wide enough for a vehicle. A woman was left badly shocked after the Corsa almost struck her.
Bennett, 20, and two accomplices abandoned the car and it was later discovered by police.
A fingerprint was found inside the car and was linked to one of the men. Officers seized the man’s mobile phone and found footage he had taken of the chase which showed Bennett driving the car.
Mr Haring said: “As the chase was being videoed, it is clear that Scott Bennett was driving the car. One of the men could be heard saying ‘let’s smoke the piggies’. It was all regarded as a joke.”
The court heard the Corsa had been stolen earlier in the day of the incident, on March 7 this year.
Bennett, 20, of The Green, Sharlston, Wakefield, handed himself in to police on April 13.
In a separate incident, on March 27, he was stopped by police riding an off-road motorbike on Eastfield Road, Normanton, without insurance or an MOT.
Bennett pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, two offences of driving without insurance and two of driving without a licence.
Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said Bennett had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early opportunity.
Referring to the footage, Mr Sugare said his client was being told what to do and encouraged by offenders who were more experienced than him.
He said: “He was clearly willing to do it but he was clearly under the influence of other people.”
Bennett was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work, was made the subject of a curfew order for three-months, and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Recorder Sandra Knapton said: “You caused various people to have to take evasive action and no doubt caused terror in them.
“You appear to be embarking on a life of crime.”