Dangerous driver threw ‘haymaker’ punch at police officer after near-miss with double-decker bus in Leeds

Stanningley Bypass.
Stanningley Bypass.

A driver who threw a ‘haymaker’ punch at a police officer as he tried to run away after a dangerous pursuit in heavy traffic has been locked up for 11 months.

Assad Ali narrowly avoided a collision with a double-decker bus as he drove across the central reservation of a dual carriageway during the incident in west Leeds.

Ali was spotted driving his Ford Ka without a seat belt on Tong Road on April 16 last year but failed to stop when police signalled for him to pull over.

The 29-year-old sped off along the Ring Road and went through red lights before joining Stanningley Bypass.

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Richard Walters, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court how Ali drove “aggressively” in heavy traffic before heading towards Pudsey town centre.

Ali continued to drive above the speed limit and put other road users in danger along Lidget Hill, Owlcotes Road, Galloway Lane, Chatsworth Road and Peckover Drive.

He joined Bradford Road at Thornbury and drove across the central reservation to avoid more police cars.

Officers called off the pursuit because of the danger to the public after he narrowly avoided a collision with the bus.

Ali was seen running along Woodhall Road a short time later.

Mr Walters said the defendant was challenged by officers who threatened to use a taser on him.

He then slowed down and threw a “haymaker-style” punch at one of the officers who approached him.

Ali was then arrested after a struggle.

The officer suffered head pains and dizziness from the blow.

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The father-of-two, of Fitzroy Road, Bradford, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and common assault.

The court heard he has previous convictions for drug supply, motoring offences and criminal damage.

Richard Wright, QC, mitigating, said Ali worked as an exhaust fitter and had not been in trouble in the year since the incident.

Mr Wright said Ali had been working hard to support his family and his partner and children would suffer if he was jailed.

Sentencing Ali, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “Having heard all I have heard, it is inevitable there must be an immediate custodial sentence.

“It is quite impossible in the circumstances to suspend that sentence.”

Ali was also disqualified from driving for three years.