Drug driver went through Leeds hospital grounds during police chase

A drugged driver who took police on a high-speed 20-minute pursuit across Leeds has been jailed for 12 months.

Mohammed Shabir drove on the wrong side of the ring road, along duel carriageway central reservations and through the grounds of a hospital.

Leeds Crown Court heard the West Yorkshire Police helicopter was deployed during the incident and a ‘stinger’ device was used to try to stop him.

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A judge who sentenced Shabir told him it was only through good fortune that he did not cause a “catastrophic” incident.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said officers followed Shabir’s Ford Fiesta after he ignored a temporary red light on Abbey Road, Kirkstall, in the early hours of November 23 last year.

Shabir continued to ignore red lights as he drove into Leeds city centre and along East Parade.

Mr Ritchie said Shabir almost lost control of his vehicle as he approached a roundabout near to the casualty department of Leeds General Infirmary.

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The prosecutor said it was “lucky” emergency ambulances were not in the area at the time.

Shabir then continued along Woodhouse Lane and Otley Road.

He drove at 70mph in the wrong lane of the ring road. Other drivers had to take evasive action to avoid a high-speed head-on collision.

The pursuit continued along King Lane and Harrogate Road, through Roundhay Park and Seacroft.

Officers tried to use a stinger device to stop him as he drove through Cross Gates but he mounted a central reservation to avoid it.

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Shabir continued through Colton before he reached a dead end on Thorpe Park industrial estate.

Officers arrested him and he said: “I’m sorry, I panicked. There are people out to kill me.”

Mr Ritchie said Shabir’s eyes were glazed and he appeared under the influence of drugs.

Blood samples found he had excessive amounts of cannabis, cocaine and another cocaine-based substance in his system.

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Shabir pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and three drug driving offences.

Glen Parsons, mitigating, said Shabir had been involved in a dispute with his friends shortly before the incident and feared he was going to be attacked.

He added: “He was in the midst of panic, knowing that he had taken class A drugs and knowing what it would mean if he was apprehended that caused him to drive in this way.

Jailing Shabir, judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “This was a particularly serious incident. Custody in my view in inevitable.”