Driver in high-speed Bradford car chase locked up

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC

A 20-year-old man has been locked up for a “hair-raising” car chase round Bradford in which his screaming women passengers pleaded with him to stop.

Sohail Ahmed reached speeds of up to 80mph and continued to put his foot down when smoke was issuing from his silver Ford Focus and damaged bits were hanging off it.

Ahmed, of Leeds Road, Bradford, was sent to a young offender institution for 12 months and banned from driving for two and a half years when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, who watched film of the police pursuit taken from a patrol car, told him it was one of the most shocking pieces of dangerous driving he had seen.

Branding it “horrendous and appalling,” he told Ahmed: “It is completely by chance that you did not kill or maim.”

Prosecutor John Bull told the court Ahmed had pleaded guilty to driving dangerously shortly before 10pm on August 9. He had no full driving licence and was not insured.

The eight minute pursuit round Bradford took him from the Dudley Hill Roundabout, along Cutler Heights Lane and on to Leeds Road, where his car suffered mechanical failure.

The vehicle, containing one man and two women passengers, travelled at speed through built- up residential areas. Oncoming drivers swerved to avoid a crash and, at one point, Ahmed collided with a patrol car that was attempting to overtake him.

Mr Bull said his male passenger was “egging him on”, but the two women were terrified and begging him to stop.

The court heard no-one was injured in the chase and Ahmed, who was working part time as a kitchen porter, had shown remorse and an appreciation of the danger he had caused.

But Judge Durham Hall said young men in the city would have to learn that they would be locked up for such offending.

“This was truly dangerous driving – eight, or more, minutes of quite hair-raising pursuit,” the judge said.

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