Banned drink-driver locked up for two dangerous Leeds police chases in BMW

A banned drink driver who was involved in two dangerous police chases in Leeds has been locked up.

By Tony Gardner
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:45 pm

A judge told Anthony Sykes he has a "truly shocking record" for driving offences as he was jailed for 26 months over the incidents in west Leeds in February and May last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard West Yorkshire Police officers in an unmarked car saw Sykes driving a BMW X5 on Hall Lane, Farnley, on February 4.

A police national computer check revealed that the vehicle was uninsured and the officers signalled for him to stop.

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Anthony Sykes was jailed for 26 months after a court heard how he was involved in two dangerous police chases in a BMW in the same month.

Sykes sped off along Stonebridge Lane and ignored police blue lights and sirens.

He dove onto the Ring Road without giving way and oncoming vehicles had to brake to avoid a collision.

Sykes joined Tong Road before returning to the Ring Road where he reached speeds of 81mph.

He eventually stopped the vehicle near his home on Ryecroft Gardens, Swinnow, where he was arrested.

The defendant smelled strongly of alcohol and a roadside breath test showed he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

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Sykes was bailed but was arrested again after police saw him behind the wheel of a BMW 318 on Town Street, Stanningley, on May 30.

The 36-year-old defendant again refused to stop for the officers and sped off towards Pudsey.

He broke the speed limit on Thorpe Road, Lodge Road and Cemetery Road.

Sykes failed to give way at a junction and drove in the wrong carriageway on Cemetery Road.

Sykes continued alongside Mount Pleasant and on to Houghside Road.

He was eventually arrested in the car park of the Wickes store near to the Ring Road.

Sykes, of Ryecroft Gardens, pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving, two of having no insurance, two of driving while disqualified and drink driving.

He has convictions dating back to 2001, mainly for driving offences.

Shila Whitehead, mitigating, said Sykes was struggling with alcohol misuse at the time of the offences due to the breakdown of the relationship with his partner.

Ms Whitehead said her client pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and accepted that he could have caused serious harm by what he did on both occasions.

Sentencing, Judge Rodney Jameson said: "People who try and get away from the police by driving dangerously create immense risk to the public.

"They are almost always, inevitably, uninsured when they do it.

"That warrants, except in the most exceptional cases, an immediate custodial sentence.

"You have a truly shocking record of driving with a complete disregard for the laws of this country throughout your adult life."