An “arrogant” young driver who led the police on two highly dangerous pursuits in the space of an hour and then bragged about it has been spared an immediate custodial sentence.

Waqas Khan told arresting officers he was loving life and that he had enjoyed leading them on chases in the Ilkley area and across central Bradford.

Khan, 20, of Baird Street, Little Horton, Bradford, was told by the judge sentencing him today: “This was an appalling piece of driving made worse by the arrogance you showed when you were arrested.”

Khan had shown “arrogant indifference about the danger he posed to others,” Recorder Ian Mullarkey stated and had even bragged about it.

Khan pleaded guilty to two offences of dangerous driving on the evening of June 14 last year.

Prosecutor Emma Handley told Bradford Crown Court that he was spotted at the wheel of a VW Golf in Ilkley at 7.15pm after the police responded to reports of “a suspicious driver.”

Khan immediately sped away from the marked patrol car, undertaking on a blind corner and causing other drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Miss Handley said that the risk to members of the public from his driving was so great that the police officer ended the pursuit.

At around 8pm, police officers in Bradford saw the Golf on Canal Road. It accelerated away at 70mph in a 40 zone, jumping multiple red lights on the Shipley/Airedale Road before speeding along Hamm Strasse.

The police used their vehicles to stop the Golf on Manchester Road and Khan was arrested at the scene. He told officers he was loving life and enjoyed leading them on a pursuit.

When interviewed later, he said he had been to the Cow and Calf at Ilkley and sped away from the police because his passenger was smoking cannabis. Khan said he thought an armed response vehicle was after him in Bradford and he accelerated off because he didn’t want to get shot.

In mitigation, Fuad Arshad conceded that the driving was “wholly unacceptable.”

Khan was extremely immature and had a difficult upbringing. He wasn’t in employment but he had a qualification in social health and care. He used cannabis to manage his mental health problems.

“He acknowledges that his driving isn’t acceptable. There’s a sense of not appreciating the serious nature of where we are,” Mr Arshad said.

Recorder Mullarkey sentenced Khan to ten months in a young offender institution, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours of unpaid work and a three-month curfew order.

He was banned from driving for 18 months and until he takes an extended retest.