100mph police chase Wakefield driver went like 'bat out of hell' Leeds Crown Court told

A Convicted drink driver hit speeds of more than 100-miles-an-hour during a police chase in Wakefield.

By Mark Lavery
Thursday, 6th August 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 6th August 2020, 12:14 pm

Judge Penelope Belcher said Joe Sharp had driven like a "bat out of hell" and was "very lucky" not to be going straight to prison.

Leeds Crown Court heard Sharp, 24, had been drinking after an argument with his partner.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said police in a marked BMW spotted Sharp driving a VW Golf at speed on Black Road, Wakefield, just before 10pm on December 8 2019.

Joe Sharp drove at more than 100mph during a police chase on High Street near Streethouise in Wakefield. Image: Google

Sharp, who had a passenger in the front seat, turned on to 60mph limit Hell Lane as police travelling at 70mph struggled to keep up.

Police drove at 80mph on 30mph limit High Street, but couldn't catch Sharp.

Mr Ritchie said as the road became a 40mph zone, police increased their speed to 100mph.

But officers were still unable to catch up with Sharp as he drove at more than 100mph through a series of bends in the road.

Sharp, of no fixed abode, drove at more than 65 mph in a 30mph limit in Streethouse village and turned off his car's lights when he pulled onto George Street, which has a series of traffic calming measures.

Sharp drove without lights at more than 50 mph on George Street before stopping the car on Wentwell Road and fleeing on foot.

One police officer chased Sharp and there was a struggle before he complied with police orders to calm down when a taser was pointed at him.

Police noted Sharp appeared drunk and he refused to give a breath specimen at the police station.

Sharp admitted dangerous driving and failing to give a breath specimen

He has a previous conviction for drink driving dating back to January 2018.

A probation officer said Sharp had a volatile relationship with his partner, who he had argued with.

The court heard Sharp had been drinking during a meal out with a friend and was driving home and panicked when he saw police.

The probation officer said Sharp was born in Leeds and had been raised in Featherstone by his sister after his mother died when he was aged ten.

Sharp accepted he was a binge drinker and has sought help from Turning Point in Wakefield.

Maryam Ahmed, mitigating, said Sharp had a "toxic" relationship with his now ex-partner and mother of his four-year-old daughter.

Judge Belcher handed Sharp a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years and banned him from driving for three years.

He must do 200 hours unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity days.

Judge Belcher told him: "You are very lucky," adding: "You need to understand you have escaped custody today by a whisker."

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Thank you

Laura Collins