A MAN has escaped a jail sentence after he was caught fleeing from a stolen Mazda.

Barry Phillips, 53, of Romford Court, Woodside, appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for aggravated vehicle taking.

The court heard the car was stolen in Wibsey in July last year and was later spotted by police on Great Horton Road. A pursuit followed and the car eventually stopped at the entrance to Wibsey Park.

Two males, one being the defendant, ran from the car into the park. Phillips was arrested and taken to custody.

He was found with a piece of cardboard with a registration number on, not of the stolen car, but of an identical Mazda. The court heard Phillips, with a criminal record stretching back over 40 years and a drug problem, pleaded guilty on the basis that he was a passenger and not the driver of the car.

He was with three much younger men who had come to him for assistance or knowledge he may have had on how to get cloned plates for the car.

He was handed a 12-month community order, with a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Judge Richard Mansell told him: “You’re too old for this now. You need to start looking after yourself. Make sure you take this chance.”