A banned driver who jumped from a moving car at the end of a police pursuit has been jailed for 14 months.
Matthew Shiels, 22, had been driving a Volkswagen Polo containing two passengers when the drama began in Halifax town centre on the afternoon of March 5, a court heard .
Prosecutor Mark Brookes told Bradford Crown Court that officers on mobile patrol saw that Shiels was not wearing a seatbelt, but he failed to stop for them on Horton Street and exceeded the 30mph speed limit as he drove off and overtook five vehicles waiting at a set of traffic lights.
Mr Brookes said Shiels then went through a red light and drove over speed bumps at 20mph near to the Sainsbury’s supermarker when there were several pedestrians in the area.
The court heard that during the short pursuit a Royal Mail van had to pull over and the VW Polo narrowly avoided a collision with another car as it drove towards North Bridge leisure centre.
Shiels, of Range Court, Boothtown, Halifax, stopped the car twice to let his passengers get out and eventually he opened the driver’s door and jumped out himself with the vehicle still moving.
Mr Brookes said the VW Polo careered through some bollards before coming to rest.
Shiels, who has an extensive record of previous convictions, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and driving while disqualified and today Judge Jonathan Rose told him that it was a miracle that no-one was killed, maimed or injured.
‘’In my view this sort of driving, taking place at this time of day in places where the public are about, falls only just short of the maximum sentence for offences of this type,’’ he told Shiels.
The judge said his sentence of 21 months in prison would be reduced to 14 months because he was entitled to full credit of one third for his early guilty plea.
But Judge Rose said Shiels needed to be kept off the roads to protect the public and he imposed a further driving ban of three years.
Shiels will not however be able to lawfully drive again until he has completed an extended driving test.