Dangerous driver arrested after being followed by West Yorkshire Police helicopter during 13-mile chase

A young driver has been locked up after the West Yorkshire Police helicopter had to be called out during a 13-mile chase

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 8:48 am

Tom Newland was eventually arrested after a lengthy pursuit between Wakefield city centre and Barnsley.

Leeds Crown Court heard police officers in Wakefield became suspicious over the way he was driving in front of them at 9.50am on October 28 this year.

The officers followed him and Newland sped off when they signalled for him to stop.

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West Yorkshire Police helicopter

Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said officers recorded Newland driving at 80mph in busy residential areas and then onto rural roads.

He went through red lights, failed to stop at junctions and drove on the wrong side of the road.

The officers ended the pursuit because Newland, who had passengers in the car, was driving so dangerously.

The police helicopter was deployed and followed the vehicle from the South Hiendley area into Barnsley.

He then drove into a housing estate in the Darfield area and officers spotted Newland from the air as he went into a house.

The 20-year-old came out of the house a short time later and the officers were able to direct colleagues on the ground to where he was.

Newland, of Dawcroft Avenue, Barnsley, was arrested and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

He has previous convictions for driving offences, theft and criminal damage.

Probation officer Mick Berry said Newland admitted during interview that he had been "showing off" to his friends in the car but the incident got out of control and he panicked.

John Boumfrey, mitigating, said Newland had struggled during the six weeks he had been held in custody up until the sentencing hearing.

He said Newland was prepared to work with the probation service to address his offending if he was given a community-based punishment.

Newland was sent to a young offenders institution for 15 months.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: "This is the third time you have been stopped for dangerous driving.

"Fortunately there was no damage, no collision or injury, although the risk caused to police officers and other road users was very high."