Police smashed a car windscreen and sprayed the driver with CS gas after he rammed a patrol vehicle and threatened to knock down an officer pursuing him on foot.

Mark Norman, 47, hit a disabled man’s parked car during a late-night chase on January 6 and Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday ((THURS)) that it was “a cry for help”.

Norman, of Brooksbank Avenue, Scholemoor, Bradford, was suffering from severe mental health difficulties at the time and had recently been released from hospital, his solicitor advocate Anne-Marie Hutton said.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, possession of small amounts of cannabis and amphetamine and failing to provide a specimen of breath at Trafalgar House Police Station.

Prosecutor Angus MacDonald said a tip-off from a member of the public led police to Norman’s Fiat car parked on Clayton Road, Bradford, at 11pm. He sped off along Springfield Road, where he turned off his lights.

He deliberately backed into a police vehicle on Brooksbank Avenue and accelerated on to Walker Avenue.

Norman then reversed towards an officer on foot who smashed the driver’s door window with his baton. He then struck a disabled man’s car, parked up for the night, and was arrested only when an officer put the windscreen through and sprayed him with CS gas.

Mr MacDonald said the disabled man had to fork out £250 excess on his insurance claim to repair his vehicle.

Norman had previous convictions for dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

Miss Hutton said he was desperate for help at the time and had made great progress since being prescribed medication by a mental health team while in custody on remand.

He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and a four month curfew order.

Norman was banned from driving for three years and must take an extended retest before regaining his licence.