A CAR-JACKER threatened to slash a terrified student before dragging her out of her vehicle, driving it away and crashing it, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Christopher Priestley flagged down the woman’s Peugeot 107 in Heysham Drive, Holme Wood, Bradford, at 2.30pm on March 29 last year.

Priestley, 38, of Woodgarth Gardens, Holme Wood, was standing in the road with his arms outstretched to stop the car, prosecutor Stephanie Hancock said on Wednesday.

He ordered: “Get out or I’ll slash you,” before dragging the student from the driver’s seat.

Her brother, aged 16, leapt out of the passenger side and banged on the window to try to stop Priestley from taking the vehicle.

But he accelerated off on to Stirling Crescent where he hit a Ford Fiesta and shunted it sideways.

Priestley carried on driving until he reached Rooley Lane where he stalled the Peugeot in the centre of the three-lane carriageway. He jumped out and ran off, leaving the car to roll back and crash into a bin lorry.

Priestley was traced on Facebook and identified by the student and her brother.

He made no comment in his police interview but went on to plead guilty to robbing the woman of her car and phone.

In her victim personal statement read out in court, the student said she now had to lock all her car doors when she was driving. She had suffered panic attacks and seen her doctor for depression.

“My life has been ruined,” she stated.

Priestley had seven previous convictions for 11 offences, including house burglary and assaulting an emergency worker.

His barrister, Giles Bridge, said his client had a learning disability.

He did not take the car out of any financial motive. He had been assaulted at a house nearby and he was desperate to get away.

“It was an impulsive offence,” Mr Bridge said.

Priestley was in crisis at the time because of drugs misuse and lack of support in the community, he said.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, agreed to Mr Bridge’s request to defer sentence for six months.

The judge said Priestley was suffering at the time from “a toxic mixture” of drug abuse, a learning disability and the effects of a previous head injury.

Although it was “an exceptionally grievous robbery” Judge Durham Hall said he had read compelling reports from Priestley’s probation officer and social worker.

“Prison is not the place for Mr Priestley unless he poses an unmanageable risk,” he said.

He took the car to flee from an abusive situation while he was in limbo without the care package he needed.

The case will come back to court on January 10 following a full medical evaluation.