'Panicked' moped rider mounted Leeds pedestrian pavements to outrun pursuing police

A moped rider with no MOT panicked when officers tried to pull him over so he dangerously rode along residential pavements in an effort to escape.
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Officers patrolling Hunslet spotted Luke Sagar appearing to be speeding and with a pillion rider who was not wearing a crash helmet, Leeds Crown Court heard.

When they illuminated their lights shortly before 12 noon on January 4, Sagar took off around the Tunstall Road area, riding along Garnet Place, Garnet Road and Burton Road, running red lights and mounting the walkways.

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They were then seen dismounting the bike and running into Sagar's home on Garnet Place. But when they realised the police were closing in, they tried to flee from the back of the property. Sagar tried to run, but was eventually detained.

He told officers that the "only reason why he did it was because the bike had no MOT", prosecutor Charlotte Noddings told the court. Sagar then repeated this during his police interview and admitted his wrongdoing.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop. He has no previous convictions. A probation report suggested that Sagar worked on motorcycles as a hobby, knew the bike had no MOT but took it for a test drive.

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He said he panicked when he realised about the MOT. He works as a technician at St James' Hospital and has aspirations to become a paramedic.

Further mitigation by his barrister, Craig Sutcliffe, was not disclosed after Judge Andrew Stubbs KC said he would not send Sagar directly to prison.

Sagar tried to outrun police on a moped around the streets of Hunslet. (pics by Google Maps / National World)Sagar tried to outrun police on a moped around the streets of Hunslet. (pics by Google Maps / National World)
Sagar tried to outrun police on a moped around the streets of Hunslet. (pics by Google Maps / National World)

He told him that those who flee from police generally get locked up, but added: "What will save him will be his age and his attitude, that he co-operated immediately."

He gave Sagar four months' jail, suspended for 12 months, 80 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month driving ban. He will also need to take an extended re-test to get his licence back.