Leeds City Council binman jailed after 90mph chase through Headingley

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A refuse collector has been jailed after a high speed police chase through Headingley.

Craig Rayner abandoned his car as it was still moving in the car park of a social club after a chase in which he drove at three times the speed limit.

A police officer had to jump into the empty vehicle as it rolled down the car park at Queenswood Social Club.

He managed to apply the handbrake to stop the Seat Ibiza from hitting other vehicles.

Leeds Crown Court heard police followed Rayner when they saw him speeding along Queenswood Drive, Headingley, on April 7 this year.

Rayner, a Leeds City Council binman, reached speeds of up to 90mph and went through a red light on Kirkstall Lane.

He turned back onto Queenswood Road and Queenswood Drive before turning into the car park of Queenswood Social Club.

Rayner drove around the building before abandoning the vehicle in the car park.

Officers saw the car rolling downhill with the driver's door open.

Rayner, 32, of Lea Farm Walk, Kirkstall, was arrested nearby and refused to provide an alcohol breath test.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

The court heard he has previous convictions for robbery, aggravated vehicle taking and burglary.

Kenton Sergeant, mitigating, said Rayner had driven away in panic when he saw that police were following him.

He added: "He made a bad decision and continued to drive badly."

Rayner was jailed for eight months. He was disqualified from driving for 28 months.

Recorder David Gordon said: "Driving a motorcar is not a right. It is a privilege.

"A car is a powerful and potentially lethal piece of machinery in the wrong hands and there have been incidents in the Leeds area recently when dangerous driving has resulted in terrible injuries and even death.

"The courts will always deal with this kind of offending with the utmost gravity and seriousness."