Leeds driver told police he was 'camping' when police found him hiding in a garden after dangerous chase

A driver who hid in a garden after a high-speed police chase and pretended he was camping has been jailed.

By Tony Gardner
Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:58 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 5:01 pm

Leeds Crown Court Lewis Shields abandoned his Ford Focus but was caught laying in nearby garden where he made the claim about sleeping out.

Marte Alnaes, prosecuting, said police initially tried to pull the 23-year-old over near Fitzwilliam at 12.40am on June 29 last year.

He appeared to slow down at first but then accelerated away, reaching speeds of up to 80mph, crossing onto the wrong side of the road and going twice around a roundabout the wrong way.

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Leeds Crown Court

The 12-minute chase took him along Wakefield Road, Garmil Head Lane, Doncaster Road, Offley Lane, Newstead Lane, Cow Lane, Mill Lane, Nostell Lane, Swine Lane, and Orchard Lane.

The West Yorkshire Police helicopter was also deployed to keep him in sight.

Shields eventually abandoned the car after driving into a cul-de-sac, where he was found hiding a short time later.

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It was found that he had never had a driving licence.

Shields, of Oakley Street, Thorpe, Leeds, has four previous convictions, but none for driving offences.

He admitted dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.

The court was told that Shields bought the Ford Focus as he planned to take driving lessons.

Shila Whitehead, mitigating, said Shields had been a "toxic" relationship with a woman and that he was asked to bring items to her that night, so felt he had no other option to take the car.

Ms Whitehead said Shields had worked as a forklift driver but is now unemployed.

He said: "You tried to escape and you couldn't even drive.

"There was a 12-minute chase and the helicopter needed to be activated, and all because you wouldn't give yourself up."

Shields was jailed for 30 weeks and banned from driving for two years and 15 weeks.