Driver stole mother’s car than crashed into police during chase in Leeds

Armley Town Street.
Armley Town Street.

A driver who stole his mother’s car collided with police during a high speed chase through Leeds, a court heard.

Joseph Bhavra, 34, stole the keys to his mother’s Fiat Punto after visiting her home on Beckhill Grove, Meanwood, and drove off with THE vehicle in the early hours of October 7 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard police officers saw Bhavra driving the car on Armley Town Street and signalled for him to stop after a check showed it was only insured to be driven by a female.

Bhavra then sped off driving at double the speed limit on some roads, going through red lights.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said the pursuit went on for ten minutes and covered a distance of almost six miles.

Other motorists had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The pursuit ended when three police cars boxed Bhavra in as he tried to drive onto the M621.

Bhavra crashed into one of the cars during the incident before being arrested.

Mr Adlington said: “He indicated no remorse in interview and indicated that given the chance he would have driven in the same way again.”

Bhavra, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, having no licence and no insurance.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Bhavra committed the offence at a time when he was grieving after a family bereavement.

He said: “It got to a point where the defendant would say he could take no more and needed to leave and needed space.

“Foolishly he took his mother’s car and he travelled to visit a friend.

“He was in self-destruct at that point.”

Bhavra was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to take part in a 20-day rehabilitation programme and do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Christopher Batty said: “The only reason I am going to take an exceptional course here is because I am satisfied that by virtue of the grief in your family at the time you were not thinking clearly.”

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