Driver jailed over police chase in stolen car

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A MAN who stole a takeaway delivery driver’s car and took it on a high speed police chase has been sent to prison.

John Chapman, 26, was jailed for 15 months after a court heard he drove at double the speed limit, mounted pavements and caused damage to another car during a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre. Leeds Crown Court heard Chapman jumped into the Suzuki Alto after the driver left his keys in the vehicle on Queen Elizabeth Drive, Normanton, near Wakefield, as he delivered food to a house.

The driver tried to pull Chapman from the vehicle but he managed to drive it away.

Police were called and saw Chapman in the vehicle but he ignored the blue lights and sirens of the officer’s vehicle.

During a three-and-a-half mile pursuit he drove on the pavement as he tried to overtake an Audi but collided with the vehicle and struck a wall on Lodge Avenue.

Chapman also drove on the pavement on Redhill Drive and at twice the speed limit along Spittal Hardwick Lane.

The vehicle was eventually brought to a halt after it was boxed in by three vehicles.

Chapman then reversed into a police car before he was arrested.

Chapman, of Albion Street, Dewsbury, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

The court heard the incident took place shortly after he had been released from prison. A probation report assessed him as posing a high risk of re-offending if given a community punishment.

Richard Canning, mitigating, said Chapman had only spent four months out of prison in the past eight years.

Mr Canning added: “He knows there is more to like than being in Armley (jail)”

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “ This was a serious piece of dangerous driving and you were very fortunate that nobody was injured and the damage was as small as it was.”