Dangerous Leeds driver mounted pavements and 'put lives at risk' during rush hour police chase

A dangerous driver has been jailed after putting “innocent people at risk” during a high-speed police chase through Leeds.

Thursday, 7th July 2022, 5:13 pm

Casy Foley, 21, mounted pavements, drove on the wrong side of the road and performed a series of “erratic” manoeuvres as he tried to escape officers.

It happened on September 8 last year at about 4.50pm, Leeds Crown Court heard today.

Police spotted a blue Vauxhall Corsa on Brooklands Drive in Seacroft and decided to run a document check.

Police spotted the car on Brooklands Drive, Seacroft, before an eight-minute chase ensued (Photo: Google)

By the time they had turned around to follow the car, it had sped off. Police activated their blue lights and a dramatic chase followed.

The officers followed the car through Seacroft, where Foley reached speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone - with his girlfriend in a passenger seat.

Adam Keenaghan, prosecuting, said Foley drove “erratically” in residential areas during an eight-minute chase.

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Foley went the wrong way around two roundabouts, mounted pavements, drove on grassland and performed a handbrake turn into oncoming traffic.

He undertook vehicles and “swerved aggressively” in the road, performing a series of dangerous menoverues, Mr Keenaghan said.

Foley drove on the wrong side of the road on at least two occasions, including on the A58 - which was packed with rush-hour traffic.

The car’s tyre was eventually punctured and it came to a stop, before Foley made off on foot.

He was soon caught by police and told them: “I’m done. You’ve got me, I’m the driver.”

Foley, of Hebden Chase, Whinmoor, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving at the earliest opportunity.

He has two previous convictions for eight offences - including driving with no licence, burglary and robbery.

Craig Sutcliffe, mitigating, said the offence was an “enormous shame” as Foley had stayed out of trouble and gone to college since he was last released from custody in November 2020.

He added that Foley served his last sentence in the midst of the Covid pandemic, where he was locked in a cell on his own for more than 23 hours a day.

“He absolutely panicked,” Mr Sutcliffe added.

“The thought that he had was that as a result of driving a car, not while disqualified, just without an appropriate licence, was that he would be returning to custody to that environment.”

Judge Christopher Batty said Foley’s driving was “as bad as I’ve seen for a long time”.

Passing his sentencing remarks, he added: “We’ve had some death cases recently of people going the wrong way down the carriageway.

“Innocent people were put at real risk - your girlfriend put at risk, yourself put at risk, all because your instinct told you you would need to get away."

“You’ve done some good work ," Judge Batty added.

"I do hope that when you do come out you can get back on track with it.

“While I have a lot of sympathy for you, I’m afraid this is just too serious.”

Foley was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

He was disqualified from holding a licence for two years, minus five months for the time he’d already spent in custody, and ordered to take an extended retest before he is allowed to drive again.