Knuckleduster and drugs found after car in Leeds police chase crashed
A dangerous driver who lost control and crashed into a wall and a lamppost after a high speed chase in Leeds the day before his mother's funeral has avoided jail.
Police found a knuckleduster in 28-year-old Joshua Clayton's pocket and cocaine and cannabis in the car after the crash, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said Clayton, was driving a black VW Golf which overtook a police car at speed on Halton Moor Road in East End Park at around 5.30pm on March 15 2018.
Police pulled up alongside the Golf on Osmondthorpe Lane and spoke to Clayton, who apologised for his driving and said he didn't have a licence.
Mr Horton said: "They asked him to turn off his ignition and he immediately sped away and there was a pursuit."
Mr Horton said Clayton pulled out at a roundabout on Pontefract Lane at speed directly into the path of two other vehicles and drove at more than 70mph in a 40mph zone.
The court heard Clayton drove the wrong way along East Park Parade and drove head on at other motorists, causing them to swerve.
Mr Horton said Clayton then lost control on a bend and crashed into a lamppost and a wall.
Clayton was arrested and police found just over 27 grammes of cannabis and just over four grammes of cocaine in the car.
Mr Horton said: "He said his driving was stupid. He made reference to his mother's funeral. He said the knuckle duster was for his own protection because he was having trouble with people on the estate."
Clayton, of Cavalier View, Cross Green, Leeds, admitted dangerous driving, possessing an offensive weapon and possessing class A drugs and class B drugs.
Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said: "It was his mother's funeral the following day. He said the whole grieving process was difficult for him and started using drugs."
Mr Sugare added: "He is very remorseful."
The court heard Clayton has since changed his lifestyle and now has a job.
Judge Andrew Stubbs QC sentenced Clayton to a six month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months plus 20 rehabilitation activity days and 80 days unpaid work.
Clayton was banned from driving for two years and must pay £300 prosecution costs.