Drunk driver jailed for attack on Leeds police officer

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A drunk driver knocked a police officer’s tooth out as he tried to resist arrest following a high speed chase.

Dale McCormack was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to assault, dangerous driving and drink driving over the incident in south Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard officers spotted McCormack speeding along the ring road near to the White Rose Centre, in Beeston, Leeds, at 10,10pm on May 4 this year.

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said black smoke was coming from the exhaust of his Vauxhall Corsa and they indicated for him to stop.

McCormack, 23, sped off, reaching speeds of 70mph in a 40mph area. McCormack continued to overtake vehicles and sped through traffic lights when they were on red at the junction with Gelderd Road. The pursuit continued to the Butterbowl Road area of Farnley, where McCormack stopped the vehicle and ran off.

An officer gave chase and McCormack struck him in the face with his arm when he caught up with him. Mr Galley said the officer’s tooth was partially severed by the blow.

McCormack, of Farnhill Road, Armley, was detained and found to be more than twice the drink drive limit.

The court heard he has previous convictions for assault, criminal damage, threatening behaviour and theft. He was on licence at the time of the incident and was recalled to prison following his arrested.

Adrian Pollard, mitigating, said McCormack accepted he would be facing a prison sentence.

He said: “There is little excuse for his behaviour. Thankfully no one was injured as a consequence of his driving.

“Had he stopped there and then it would have been drink driving and nothing more.”

Mr Pollard said McCormack was well regarded by his employers and came from a supportive family. He added that his client did not have a drink or drug problem. Jailing McCormack, judge Christopher Batty said: “It was just very poor, silly behaviour and it has cost you because you were on licence at the time.

“Officers are entitled to restrain you, particularly after behaviour such as that and you are not entitled to lash out at them.”

McCormack was also disqualified from driving for two years.

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