Three men jailed over Leeds crash in which road workman was trapped against machinery

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A ROAD workman suffered serious leg injuries after being hit by a van as three burglars tried to get away from police during a high-speed chase across Leeds.

A court was shown CCTV of the pursuit across Leeds in which the Transit van went through a ‘road closed’ sign before trapping the victim against machinery.

The incident happened on February 28 this year after the men used a stolen van to steal building equipment from outside a house on King Lane, Moortown.

Police caught up with the van on Scott Hall Road as William Price drove the vehicle along a footpath.

Police cameras the filmed the pursuit from the north east of the city, through the city centre and out to the south west suburbs.

Oliver Thorne, prosecuting, said John Stewart and James Connors were also in the van with Price.

Items stolen in the burglary were thrown from the van in a bid to deter police from following.

Footage showed the van enter a blocked off road near to Gildersome as workman were laying a new road surface.

The van came to a halt after hitting the victim and trapping him against road chippings machine.

Price and Conners managed to run from the scene but Stewart was stopped by workmen.

Mr Thorne said the victim suffered serious nerve and ligament damage in the incident and was left badly scarred.

The court heard Stewart had been involved in a separate burglary, on January 8, at a property in Doncaster.

He swung a metal bar at the home owner after being disturbed when he broke into a garage in search of building equipment.

Price, 23, of Dunningley Lane, Tingley, pleaded guilty to burglary and aggravated vehicle taking and was jailed for 30 months.

Connors, 25, of Cottingley Springs, was jailed for 30 months for burglary and handling stolen goods.

Stewart, 21, of White Towers, Armthorpe, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary, handling stolen good and threatening with an offensive weapon.

Detective Inspector Simon Jessup, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “These men showed a complete disregard for people’s safety as they attempted to evade being caught by the police. The stolen van they were in was driven dangerously at excessive speed the wrong way down a number of busy major roads and through red lights while items were thrown out at the police vehicles behind.

“This continued over a considerable time and distance before the van was involved in a collision with road repair machinery causing serious injuries to one of the workers. He is still having to live with the lasting consequences of those injuries.

“We hope the prison sentences these men have received will provide some comfort to the victim and reassurance to the wider community.

“Tackling burglary remains a key focus for the police in Leeds and we will continue to use all available tactics to target offenders like these who mistakenly think they can commit crime and put the public at risk without having to face the consequences of their actions.”

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