A motorist drove away from police at a “ferocious speed” after he was caught using his mobile phone, a court heard.

Mohammed Idris, 23, drove through red lights, went the wrong way round a traffic bollard, damaged other vehicles and narrowly missed a pedestrian during a chase in which he reached speeds twice the legal limit in a residential area, Bradford Crown Court was told yesterday.

Judge David Hatton QC told Idris, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, that it was appalling behaviour which justified a sentence of imprisonment. But he said the defendant had considerable responsibiities, caring for his ill parents and providing for his wife and child, and jailing him immediately would cause “disproportionate punishment to those innocent people.”

Judge Hatton said the offence was out of character and sentenced Idris, of Manningham Lane, Manningham, Bradford, to six months imprisonment suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work with a 15-day activity requirement, banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to take an extended driving test. He was fined £250 with four penalty points on his licence for using the mobile phone.

Prosecutor David Lampitt said the defendant was stopped in Whetley Lane, Girlington, by a police constable who had seen him using his mobile phone. Idris drove off at a ferocious speed, pursued by the officer, using his blue lights and sirens.

Idris went through red lights at Carlisle Road, narrowly missing cars; the wrong way round a traffic bollard near to Manningham Library; and was travelling at more than 60mph in a 30mph limit.

He went through another red light at Marlborough Road, overtaking a line of queueing traffic and knocking a wing mirror off an Audi; made contact with a lorry and another vehicle as he tried to squeeze between them; and narrowly missed a pedestrian at the junction of Manningham Lane and St Paul’s Road, before driving up an alleyway and stopping partially on the pavement.

The officer tried to box him in but Idris drove off again. When he tried to box him in again, he skidded into a tree, banging his head. The defendant ran off but the officer gave chase and arrested him.

Idris’s barrister, James Bourne-Arton, said his client had panicked. He was a hardworking man. His parents suffered from various ailments and he was effectively their carer. The probation service said there was a low risk of him re-offending.