Gledhow drug addict drove £50,000 Mercedes stolen in Kippax burglary at 100mph in bid to escape police Leeds Crown Court told

A tracker's signal  from a £50,000 Mercedes car stolen  during a house burglary in a Leeds village led to a 100mph bid to escape police.

By Mark Lavery
Saturday, 10th October 2020, 6:00 am

The West Yorkshire Police helicopter was drafted in to follow drug addict Richard Cole, 31, as he drove the stolen car along the M62, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Joseph Bell said a man woke up at 7am on September 10 to find his grey Mercedes car worth £50,000 had been stolen from outside his house in Kippax after the keys were taken during a burglary.

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Richard Cole

Mr Bell said the car was fitted with a tracker linked to the victim's mobile phone but, that the tracker had been disabled.

The court heard the victim was able to change his settings to receive a notification when the car was driven at more than 20mph.

Shortly before 5pm that day, he received a notification that the car was being driven above 20mph and alerted police to where the car was.

Minutes later, officers spotted Cole, of Gledhow Towers, Gledhow, Leeds, driving the car on the westbound carriageway of the M62.

The Mercedes had been fitted with false number plates.

A police helicopter was sent to keep track of Cole and as it began to follow him he increased his speed.

He turned off the motorway before overtaking other road users, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on the pavement and going through a red light.

Cole, who only has a provisional licence, brought the car to a stop on a residential street and was boxed in by a police car before being arrested.

Cole told police a drug user who had been told to drive the car to pay off a debt.

He said he received a phone call while driving the car from someone telling him not to lose it.

A police officer who viewed footage of the chase that had been filmed from the helicopter estimated that the defendant was driving at 100mph at times along the A58.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said his client got into debt after he started using heroin and cocaine.

Cole was jailed for two years and three months after he admitted handling stolen goods, dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Cole has 14 previous convictions for 20 offences, including theft and failing to comply with court orders.