'Lucky' pedestrian dived out of Audi driver's way when he mounted the pavement during Wakefield police chase

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A pedestrian was “lucky to have been facing the right way” as a desperate driver mounted a busy high street pavement to shake off police.

The man was forced to dive out of the way of the black Audi being driven by Todd Burgin who crashed the car moments later and tried to flee on foot. Compounding the matter, the 25-year-old was already banned for a previous incident of dangerous driving.

He was jailed for 18 months at Leeds Crown Court this week. It was heard that Burgin was spotted by police on Barnsley Road in South Elmsall at around 12.45pm on September 23 last year.

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Police spotted the Audi, and suspecting the occupants to be dealing drugs, moved in to stop the car, but it accelerated away.

Todd Burgin (pictured) tried to flee police on Barnsley Road before crashing. (pics by WYP / Google Maps)Todd Burgin (pictured) tried to flee police on Barnsley Road before crashing. (pics by WYP / Google Maps)
Todd Burgin (pictured) tried to flee police on Barnsley Road before crashing. (pics by WYP / Google Maps) | WYP / Google Maps

Burgin weaved in and out of traffic before undertaking a van and mounting the pavement, forcing the man to dive for cover opposite the Brookside Commercial Social Club.

Burgin then swung back onto the road, narrowly avoiding a lamppost. Just seconds later he tried to squeeze between two cars and ground to halt, damaging all three vehicles. He climbed out of the Audi, as did his passenger, and made off on foot with police unable to catch them.

But Burgin was identified after forensics linked him to the car. CCTV of the incident was also played to the court.

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Burgin, of Grove Lane, South Kirkby, admitted dangerous driving, driving while banned and having no insurance. He was previously banned from driving in 2021.

On that occasion he leapt from a moving vehicle after a police chase. He received a six-month suspended sentence. The operational period of that sentence had expired at the time of his latest offending, but his driving ban remained in place.

A probation report read out to the court suggested he owed money for a drug debt and had “got scared” when he saw the police. Although it was suspected he was dealing drugs and a small quantity was found in the car, no further details were available.

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Mitigating, Craig Sutcliffe said there was no evidence that linked Burgin to drug dealing. He is unemployed, but smoked cannabis daily and took cocaine weekly. He said Burgin had been engaging with services to tackle his mental health problems.

The judge, Recorder Dafydd Enoch KC told Burgin: “You were given a chance to avoid prison [last time]. That had elapsed when you committed this offence but not by very long.

“It’s purely by luck that the gentleman was looking in the right direction and got out of the way. You took a massive risk in driving the way you did.”

He disregarded the drug-dealing suggestion but said: “You were up to no good, that’s clear at the very least.”

Having jailed Burgin, he also banned him from driving for another three years and told him he must take an extended re-test to get his licence back once the ban expires.