A “MANIAC” driver who jumped six red lights in a stolen Transit van during a seven mile police chase into the centre of Bradford has been imprisoned for 18 months.

Craig Longdon deliberately hit a patrol vehicle and almost collided with a dog van while transporting a stolen £20,000 road roller, Bradford Crown Court was told.

He was pursued late at night from Otley Road, Menston, to Thornton Road in Bradford where he was boxed in down a side street and the keys seized by the police from the ignition.

Longdon, 49, of Chapel Lane, Armley, Leeds, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on October 27 last year and dishonestly handling the Bomag road roller stolen from Gallagher Construction in Leeds at 8pm the same day.

Prosecutor Robert Galley said the Transit van revved hard and reversed into the front bumper of a police car before speeding off on an 11 minute chase at speeds up to 40mph.

It ran six red traffic lights, went the wrong way down a street in the middle of Bradford and forced a pedestrian to jump clear.

Longdon hit another van and a car during the pursuit, the court was told.

He told the police he was asked to drive the van and had gone only a short distance in it when the police approached, but he was seen filling the vehicle with fuel that afternoon, Mr Galley stated.

The van had been stolen from a pub car park a few days earlier and the police were alerted when it was suspected it had cloned number plates.

The court heard in mitigation that Longdon had not reoffended in the 13 months since he committed the offences.

He was asked to drive the van and did not know what was in the back, but conceded he knew or believed it was stolen goods.

Longdon had health problems, including suffering brain seizures that made him unable to carry out unpaid work for the community.

Deputy Circuit Judge James Spencer QC told Longdon: “You drove like a maniac to try to escape.”

Longdon was banned from driving for 21 months and until he takes an extended retest.