AN apprentice plumber put other road users at risk during a police chase after he was caught driving without a licence.
A judge told Damon Barrett that it was a “miracle” no one was seriously injured during the pursuit across Leeds.
Officers spotted Barrett, 20, driving a Vauxhall Astra on Low Road, Hunslet, and indicted for him to stop when they discovered only had a provisional licence.
Barrett drove down a one-way street before joining the A61. He drove on the wrong side of the road to avoid traffic as he approached Leeds city centre.
Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said Barrett mounted a pavement in the Mabgate area to avoid more traffic. He drove in the wrong carriageway along Eastgate and went the wrong way onto a roundabout. Mr Ritchie said Barrett’s vehicle caught fire and began to lose speed on Roundhay Road.
Barrett and his passenger ran from the car after crashing into a wall. A police officer suffered an injury to his knee as he detained him.
Barrett, of Queenshill Avenue, Moortown, was also found in possession of a small amount of cannabis.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, common assault, possession of cannabis and having no licence. Mark Foley, mitigating, said Barrett had recently completed a three-year plumbing course and needed to be able to drive in order to obtain work. Mr Foley said his client had driven away from police in panic because he knew it would ruin his job prospects
He said: “He recognises that it was appalling driving. “He was in sheer panic and can’t believe he behaved in the way that he did.”
Barrett was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work.