Banned driver broke police officer's rib in Leeds chase crash

A banned driver was over the drink drive limit when he lost control of a stolen BMW during a high speed  chase in Leeds  and crashed into an unmarked police car.
Craig SharpCraig Sharp
Craig Sharp

The crash wrote off the stolen BMW 5 series 33-year-old Craig Sharp was driving and left one police officer with a broken rib and a second officer with severe bruising.

Leeds Crown Court heard the £16,000 BMW had been stolen in a burglary at a house in Horsforth in the early hours of March 16.

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Police spotted Sharp at the wheel of the BMW on Armley Ridge Road in Bramley at 11am that morning and a chase started.

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said Sharp drove at more than 60mph on 30mph limit roads during the pursuit and went through three junctions without stopping and mounted a pavement.

He drove on streets including Broad Lane, Wyther Lane, Raynville Crescent and Raynville Road.

Sharp slowed down on Broad Lane and twice attempted to ram the pursuing police car by reversing into it.

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Two officers in an unmarked police car joined in the pursuit.

Miss Pearson said Sharp drove across a grassed area on Wyther Park Road and lost control before careering back on to the road and crashing into the unmarked police car.

Despite suffering a broken rib in the impact, one of the police officers chased Sharp on foot and arrested him.

The second officer, who suffered bruising, was unable to get out of the car immediately due to damage to the vehicle.

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Sharp was breathalysed and found to be over the drink drive limit.

Sharp, of Pudsey Road, Bramley, admitted dangerous driving, assault causing harm to the officer who suffered a broken rib, common assault of the officer who suffered bruising, handling the stolen BMW, drink driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

He has 20 previous convictions for 61 offences including burglary, robbery and driving while disqualified.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Sharp has spent much of his adult life in prison, adding: "His prospects are relatively non-existent as far as employment is concerned."

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The court heard Sharp committed the offences whilst out of prison on licence after being jailed for four-years-and-four-months in 2018 for offences including burglary and dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for five-years-and-two-months in 2018.

Jailing Sharp for three-years-and-eight-months for the latest offences, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Guy Kearl QC told him: "The speed of the impact caused the police vehicle to be pushed into a street light and the driver's side took the full impact, causing injury to both officers."