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Officers threatened man with Taser after crash in Shelf lane
A car thief crashed into a wall while driving at more than twice the speed limit on a narrow country lane, a court heard.
And Joseph Whittingham, 22, had to be threatened with a stun gun before police could restrain him.
Prosecutor Michael Smith told Bradford Crown Court yesterday police had been called to reports of men acting suspiciously in the Shelf and Northowram areas at 1.45am on July 21 when they saw a blue Ford Focus travelling at speed in Halifax Road. The car had been stolen the previous night.
Police lost the vehicle near to Shelf roundabout, but saw it again returning to the roundabout and began a pursuit with lights and sirens activated.
The Focus was driven into Coley Road, a narrow country lane with a 30mph speed limit, at between 60 and 70mph.
Mr Smith said officers were 100 metres behind and lost sight of the car on a bend. They then found it on its side, having collided with a wall.
The driver fled across a field and into woods. Police dogs caught him and he was arrested but he still struggled, pushed past officers and had to be threatened with a Taser before calming down.
The court heard Whittingham had 20 previous convictions, including aggravated vehicle taking, taking without consent and driving while disqualified. In June last year he was given a two-year sentence for burglary of a dwelling and had been released on licence six weeks before the latest offence.
His barrister, Adam Walker, described it as a “moment of madness.” He said no other road users were on the road at the time and it had not been a prolonged police pursuit.
Whittingham had been recalled on licence but Judge Peter Benson said he did not have the power to make the sentence consecutive to that, even though it was “clearly appropriate.”
Whittingham, of Low New Hall Field, Bradford, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
He was jailed for 16 months, disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended driving test.