A MAN who led police on a “low speed car chase” in a 15-year-old Ford Mondeo has been spared an immediate jail sentence in what the judge labelled an exceptional case.

Jamie Stone reached a top speed of 36mph when he was pursued by a marked patrol car from Listerhills Road to Great Horton Road, Bradford, at 1.30am on November 12 last year.

Stone, 27, of Alma Street, Windhill, Shipley, had bought the old car to live in while suffering from depression, Bradford Crown Court heard.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, possession of cocaine, failing to provide a specimen and driving without a licence or insurance.

He was arrested after abandoning the car and fleeing on foot.

Prosecutor Richard Walters said the police wanted to stop Stone for a routine vehicle check but he accelerated away, with a female passenger.

When he was apprehended, his eyes were glazed and he smelt of intoxicants. He had two small bags of cocaine on him and refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.

Stone’s barrister, Nigel Jamieson, said he made “a series of idiotic decisions” that night.

He had worked for years in the textile industry but had to leave his employment when he was diagnosed with depression.

Stone was also battling problems with drink and drugs at the time and had since voluntarily sought help.

“He is ashamed and remorseful,” Mr Jamieson said.

“It is a long way from being the worse case of dangerous driving.”

The 90-second chase over about a mile did not cause a collision or another vehicle to take evasive action.

Stone had bought the car to live in because he was homeless at the time.

Judge Robert Bartfield jailed Stone for eight months, suspended for 12 months, with a probation service rehabilitation activity requirement. He was banned from driving for two years.

The judge had previously adjourned the case to check with the police exactly what speed Stone reached during the pursuit.

He said it was an exceptional case and most people he sentenced for dangerous driving went out through the back door of the courtroom to the cells.

Judge Bartfield told Stone: “There is a campaign in this city. People who choose to use our roads as a race track all go to prison.

"You have escaped because I have to abide by the evidence. This was not a high speed chase. The police say your highest speed was 36mph.

“It was that most unusual creature, a low speed chase,” he said.

The judge also took into consideration that Stone had few previous convictions, had pleaded guilty, was suffering from depression and was ashamed.

But he warned him: “If you do not take this opportunity and don’t complete the activity requirement, or you commit another offence, I make you a promise that you will go to prison instead.”

He ordered Stone to take an extended retest before he can legally drive.