Halifax drug dealer jailed after car crash during 110mph police pursuit
A Halifax drug dealer has been jailed for almost four years after crashing his car during a high-speed police pursuit.
Police officers near Leeds spotted banned driver Niro James behind the wheel of a uninsured VW Passat in the early hours of August 26 last year, but after initially being stopped he sped off in the vehicle along the M621.
Bradford Crown Court heard that during a pursuit covering more than four miles James’ vehicle reached speeds of 110mph as he headed towards Lightcliffe and Hipperholme.
James, of Dispensary Walk, Halifax, drove through multiple red lights and the West Yorkshire Police helicopter was involved in locating his crashed car.
James had fled the scene in another vehicle, but he then returned and was seen by a witness retrieving items from the boot and the glove compartment.
Judge Jonathan Rose was told that James fled again on foot, but the helicopter crew were able to direct officers who detained the defendant after he was found hiding in bushes on Old Cottage Lane, Hipperholme.
Police officers, who also searched James’ home, seized a variety of drugs packages including MDMA, cocaine and ketamine and the court heard that stash had a total value of just over £7000.
Just three months before the police pursuit James had been banned from driving for an offence of driving while over the limit.
Barrister Andrew Espley, for James, conceded that it was a case of a drug dealer who was caught red-handed and had driven away dangerously.
He pointed out that at the time of the incident there was less traffic and there was no evidence that his client had been intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Judge Rose noted that the 27-year-old was devoted to his ill grandmother and was a good uncle to his sister’s children, but he said he was capable of so much more than a rapidly escalating history of convictions.
The judge said it was a small miracle that James had “lived to tell the tale” after the crash and he made a deprivation order for “what’s left” of the VW Passat.
“It’s quite obvious of course that the dangerous driving was because you had drawn the attention of the police and knowing that you had in your possession some £7000 worth of drugs you were determined not to be caught with them,” said Judge Rose.
James had admitted offences of possession of drugs with intent to supply, dangerous driving, driving while banned and driving without insurance.
Judge Rose jailed James for a total of 46 months and banned him from driving 53 months.
James will also have to take an extended driving test at the end the ban before he can lawfully drive on the roads again.