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Car thief climbed tree to avoid police after stealing car
A man shinned 45ft up a tree and refused to come down for seven hours after he and his friends were involved in a police chase in a stolen 4x4.
Instead of deploying Special Branch, the force called in the police helicopter, a dog handler and the fire service during the operation to pursue and capture the four men.
Firefighters offered him a ladder but he declined, and climbing higher.
Duffy, Matthew Lonsdale, 30, of Navigation Quay, Bingley , and David Sutcliffe, 20, of Woodside , Shipley , admitted riding round in a stolen Nissan Terrano that was driven dangerously on July 31 last year.
The judge, Recorder Duncan Smith, told them yesterday: “This is juvenile crime. You ought to know better.”
The vehicle driver, Liam Anderson, 23, of Aireworth Grove, Keighley, was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for two years.
The judge said: “You were the driver and you used that vehicle as a battering ram. It was a dangerous thing to do.”
Anderson, who had 22 previous court appearances, was told: “Sentences will start getting longer and longer if you don’t start behaving yourself.”
He admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
Duffy, Lonsdale and Sutcliffe pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking by allowing themselves to be carried in a stolen vehicle.
They were each sentenced to a two- year community order and banned from driving for six months. Sutcliffe and Lonsdale were ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and Duffy 240 hours.
Prosecutor Simon Haring said Anderson rammed a van on a country track at Ponden, near Haworth . The owner of a nearby house blocked the Terrano’s exit with his vehicle after seeing a man throwing rubbish on to a field. His van was repeatedly rammed and written off.
Police gave chase to the Terrano along Haworth Road. It stopped and reversed at speed towards the patrol car. After jumping a red light, the 4x4 was pursued along Hebden Road. It hit a lamppost and two walls and the four men ran off.
Lonsdale was sprayed with CS gas after taking up “a fighting stance.” Sutcliffe and Lonsdale were apprehended nearby.