Dangerous driver smashes into telegraph pole after high speed police chase in Leeds

Matthew Crooks.
Matthew Crooks.

A driver lost control and crashed into a telegraph pole at the end of a police chase.

Matthew Jordan Crooks was behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa stolen by burglars from outside a house in Ridgeway, Guiseley, Leeds Crown Court heard.

He was spotted at around 10pm in Keighley Road and officers indicated to him to stop but he drove off.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said it was torrential rain but Crooks drove in excess of 50mph through Bingley town centre – where the limit was 20mph. At one stage he drove on to the wrong side of the road and narrowly missed crashing into a bus. As he drove along a pair of mole grips were thrown from a window of the vehicle. He overtook on a blind bend and went straight across a mini roundabout without giving way to other traffic.

He also drove through a temporary set of traffic lights, by that time reaching 70mph, said Mr Smith. As he approached the centre of Baildon he lost control crashing into a telegraph pole. Crooks ran off but the air bag was activated and his DNA was later discovered on it. Stephen Wood, representing Crooks, said his client had the good sense to go to the police and give himself up.

After his last release from custody he had managed to get a job, give negative drug tests and cooperate with the probation service but had then “got himself in with the wrong crowd.”

Crooks, 26 of Leeds Road, Shipley admitted handling the stolen Corsa, dangerous driving and having no insurance. He was jailed for 22 months and will be disqualified from driving for three years on his release.

Recorder Richard Woolfall said the driving was deliberate. “You knew how dangerous it was but carried on, all you were concerned about was evading the police.”

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