Driver caught after he abandoned car during dangerous police chase but left driving licence at scene

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A driver who fled after crashing his car during a police chase was caught after he left left his licence inside the vehicle.

Ashley Smith was jailed for six months over the incident in which he put the lives of his three passengers in danger as he ploughed into a traffic island.

Leeds Crown Court heard Smith panicked and drove off from police in Heckmondwike in his VW Golf as the vehicle did not have an MOT certificate.

Officers signalled for Smith to stop on Hollinbank Lane shortly after midnight on February 24 this year.

He drove off and officers lost sight of the car.

The vehicle was spotted just over an hour later on Bradford Road, Liversedge.

Read more: Paedophile hunter catch pervert at Wakefield Westgate railway station

Robert Galley, prosecuting, said officers put on blue lights and sirens but Smith refused to pull over.

He continued on to Oxford Road and then onto Listing Lane.

Smith drove on the wrong side of the road at 60mph - double the speed limit.

Mr Galley said the defendant lost control of the vehicle and struck a central traffic island.

Four people got out of the car and left the scene.

Police found Simth's wallet and driving licence inside the vehicle.

He was arrested and admitted during interview that he had been the driver.

Read more: Leeds chicken takeaway bosses jailed after £50,000 worth of cannabis was found stashed in freezer
Smith, of Crabtree Avenue, Heckmondwike, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Simon Perkins, mitigating, said Smith owned the car and it was taxed and insured.

He said: "He did not have an MOT. The reason for that was because he had been paying significant insurance premiums.

"He did not have the money to have it repaired at the testing station."

Mr Perkins said father-of-four Smith worked hard in the building trade to support his family.

Jailing Smith, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: "Driving in this manner puts at risk not only you and your passengers, but police officers who find themselves having to pursue you.

"It is a serious matter.

"If the courts do not deter people from driving in this way, the courts fail to protect the police who are placed at risk from this sort of chase."