Trainee pilot in police chase

The scene where Nazir's passenger leapt from the car.
The scene where Nazir's passenger leapt from the car.

A trainee pilot has ruined his chance of a flying career after he was involved in a dramatic high speed police chase across West Yorkshire.

A court heard petrol station manager Shahid Nazir, 27, was close to being a fully qualified pilot when he carried out the “appalling” piece of driving.

Leeds Crown Court heard it is still a “mystery” as to why Nazir behaved the way he did as he had failed to provide an explanation to the court or his lawyer. Nazir was followed by police officers in Roundhay, Leeds, shortly before midnight on September 23 last year, when they became suspicious at the way he was driving.

Nazir then sped off and reached speeds of up to 80mph during a 25 minute pursuit through the streets of Leeds. A number of police cars and the West Yorkshire helicopter were involved in the incident. Nazir’s friend was so afraid he would die that he pulled the handbrake as the car approached a roundabout near Leeds Grammar School. He jumped from the car and suffered cuts to his hands. Nazir pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

He had spent around £11,000 in a bid to obtain his pilot’s licence but had ruined his chance as a result of the conviction. Nazir was given an 18 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and disqualified from driving for two years.

He was also ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work and pay £800 compensation to his friend.

Recorder Nigel Sangster, QC, said: “This was an appalling piece of driving as you well know.