Drink driver led cops on eight minute Leeds chase, hitting up to 80mph

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A motorist involved in an eight-minute police chase through Crossgates was found to be more than twice over the drink drive limit when he was eventually caught.

Mehran Nassiri prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court yesterday(frid) Steven Atkins was seen waiting to drive out of the Station public house car park in the early hours of March 13.

He had three passengers in his vehicle and flashed at the police car approaching to indicate to the officers inside he was waiting to let them by.

However they flashed lights at him to let him go first. He attempted to move forward but stalled the engine.

When he pulled on to the road the officers began to follow and put on their blue lights for him to stop but he accelerated away doing 50mph in the 30mph zone.

He turned left into Poole Road still at speed and did not slow at the junction when he turned into Hawkhill Avenue where on a sharp bend he lost control and hit the nearside kerb causing him to mount the kerb and drive over a grassed area.

Mr Nassiri said Atkins drove on and joined the A64 against the flow of traffic before cutting across the central reservation to the correct side and reaching 80mph.

After turning into Sherburn Road doing around 50mph he drove into a cul-de-sac where he jumped out of his car and ran off on foot but was chased and caught.

He was given a breath test at Elland police station more than an hour after his arrest and was found to have 95 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the limit being 35.

The court heard Atkins had previous convictions for driving offences including two in 2009 for driving over the prescribed limit.

Ian Cook representing Atkins said: “Alcohol has plagued his life over a number of years.”

He had tried to moderate his drinking and would succeed for periods but would then slip back. He was a carer for his mother who was awaiting a double hip replacement and if he was jailed it would impact on her.

Atkins, 29 of Skelwith Walk, Seacroft, Leeds was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from driving for four years after admitting dangerous driving, driving over the limit, and without insurance.

High Court Judge Mr Justice Edis said his previous convictions for driving over the alcohol limit were an aggravating feature.

He said it was only good fortune nobody had been killed or injured that night. “In reality you preferred to preserve your own liberty above other people’s lives.”

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