Illegal driver led police on 100mph chase through towns

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An uninsured driver who panicked when police spotted him and then hit 100mph during a high-speed pursuit has been jailed for 14 months.

Joshua Nelson, 23, had only bought the Volvo car a few days before officers in an unmarked police vehicle saw him driving at high speed in Halifax.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Nelson ran red lights at 70mph, almost hit a cyclist and sped with sparks coming from the wheels during the pursuit.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the incident as being “as bad as it gets” and Nelson’s barrister Stephen Wood conceded that his driving that morning had been dangerous, stupid and irresponsible.

He urged Judge Durham Hall to consider suspending a prison sentence in Nelson’s case, but the judge said the driving was in the category of “the worst examples”.

Chief Inspector Roger Essell said: “This driver’s actions potentially put a number of lives at risk. He drove at speed through built-up areas of Halifax and Elland in a pursuit which lasted over half an hour, before he was safely brought to a stop by officers.

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“We welcome the custodial sentence he has been given and hope this serves as a warning to those who take the law in to their own hands by refusing to stop for the police.”

Prosecutor Georgina Goring told Bradford Crown Court that the officers illuminated their blues lights, but Nelson failed to stop and during the 38-minute pursuit he covered about 30 miles before eventually being arrested in the Elland area.

The pursuit last month began at about 5.15am and at the time Nelson’s girlfriend was a passenger in the Volvo.

Miss Goring said Nelson, of Saltburn Street, Halifax, reached speeds of 100mph in 30mph zones, drove through red lights at 70mph and almost hit a cyclist.

At one stage the exhaust fell off his car, but Nelson drive on and eventually the police helicopter was deployed to track his route.

She said even after a “stinger” device was used to deflate two of the car’s tyres Nelson continued to drive at about 60mph with sparks coming from the wheels.

When police officers finally managed to stop the car Nelson ran off, but he was arrested.

“The police noted that the defendant’s girlfriend was in the car and she was physically shaking at the end of this pursuit,” said Miss Goring.

Nelson admitted charges of dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

He even told police that he hadn’t insured the car because “he didn’t think it was fit to be on the road”.

The judge said Nelson would also be banned from driving for three years and ordered him to take an extended re-test before lawfully driving on the roads again.