A BANNED driver on prison licence has been jailed for 14 months after trying to outrun the police in a stolen van.

Thomas Ward sped off in a Peugeot on false plates after officers on patrol spotted him at 3.45pm on September 20, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Ward, 22, of Whiteways, Bolton, Bradford, had two passengers, including his sister Donna, in the vehicle with him when he accelerated off along Blake Hill, Lee Lane and Bradford Old Road, Halifax.

Prosecutor Martin Robertshaw said a male passenger jumped out of the moving van during the blue light pursuit along the narrow country roads.

Donna Ward also tried to leap from the van as it sped along at 60mph with the passenger door open, the court was told.

Ward skidded to a halt down a dead end and ran off. He was apprehended and made no comment to police questions.

He was sentenced on a video link after being recalled to prison to serve the balance of a 26 week sentence imposed in April for aggravated vehicle taking, with dangerous driving.

Ward pleaded guilty to interfering with a Citroen vehicle in Bradford on September 18, stealing £40 from Lady Royd Garage car wash in Thornton Road, Bradford, the following day, and dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Mr Robertshaw said Donna Ward acted as lookout while her brother broke into the car wash cash machine, doing £2,000 damage. Donna Ward was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment at a separate court hearing for her role in the theft.

Ward had 37 previous convictions for 86 offences, 43 of which were theft related, Mr Robertshaw said. He had served custodial sentences for robbery and house burglary.

The court heard there was no suggestion that Ward stole the Peugeot van.

His barrister, Anna Chestnutt, said no one was hurt and no damage was caused during the pursuit.

Ward and his sister were on their way to hospital to visit their seriously ill mother.

Ward tested positive for heroin on his arrest after turning to drugs to cope with his mother’s deteriorating health. He stole the money from the car wash to fuel his addiction.

He had detoxified in prison and was ashamed of his behaviour.

Recorder George Cook banned Ward from driving for two years and seven months.

He said it was only by good luck that there was not an accident during the police pursuit.