Jail for Leeds crook who avoided prison term days before

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A CROOK who stole a car and caused a crash four days after being given a suspended prison sentence has been jailed for 22 months.

Phillip Leach, 32, stole a BMW days after his lawyer persuaded magistrates not to imprison him for driving while disqualified.

Leeds Crown Court heard Leach, of Scott Hall Terrace, Leeds, took the car from outside a house in the city on April 10 this year.

At 10.15am the next day he was seen driving at speed on Roundhay Road.

He had to swerve to avoid a driving instructor who was in the middle of giving a lesson and collided with two other vehicles.

Leach’s breath smelt strongly of alcohol as he was pulled out of the vehicle and had to be placed in the recovery position following the crash.

The driver of one of the other cars was taken to hospital, where he spent four days after suffering back and chest injuries.

Leach pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and breaching a suspended sentence order.

The court heard leach has previous convictions for 34 offences.

Adrian Pollard, on behalf of Leach, told the court: “He knows the writing is on the wall because this happened within days of me persuading magistrates to give him a chance.

“It is inevitable he will go to prison.”

Mr Pollard said Leach, a father of two, had broken up with his partner around the time of the offence and he had dealt with the split badly.

Leach accepted that he had got drunk before driving the vehicle, the barrister told the hearing.

Mr Pollard added: “He knows his behaviour is not only self-destructive, but destructive to others.

“He recognises that he brings it upon himself and he is thankful that he hasn’t killed someone.”

Jailing him, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, told Leach that he had a “disgraceful record”.

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