Motorist who drove head-on at traffic is spared immediate jail

A motorist who led police on a high-speed chase and drove the wrong way along a dual carriageway has been spared an immediate custodial sentence.

By Nick Frame
Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 4:35 pm
Leeds Crown Court.
Leeds Crown Court.

Shehzan Abbas admitted a charge of dangerous driving following the pursuit through Wakefield just after midnight on November 8 last year.

When police tried to pull over his Seat Leon, the 30-year-old driver took off, reaching speeds up to 60mph in 30mph zones with passengers in his car.

He drove along Dewsbury Road, Horbury Road, Westgate, Alverthorpe Road, Henry Street and Denby Dale Road.

Leeds Crown Court was told that Abbas even stopped at one point to let one of his passengers out before picking up speed again.

The married father-of-two went through a red light, went round a roundabout the wrong way and one of his tyres even deflated.

The police temporarily called off their pursuit after he joined a dual carriageway the wrong way, driving into oncoming traffic.

He eventually ditched his car and ran into Thornes Park where he was apprehended.

A report into Abbas suggested that he had initially fled from the police because he had been smoking cannabis earlier that day and thought he would be in trouble.

However, a drug swipe taken found that he was not over the legal limit.

Mitigating, Jenna Chaplin said that he had shown "genuine remorse" and "made a stupid decision", adding that he had no previous relevant convictions.

She added: "He is sorry for what he did. He is not an ingrained offender."

Judge Simon Phillips QC said: "You were aware from the outset that police were instructing you to stop. You ignored the blue lights and sirens and you accelerated from police.

"The extent of the danger you posed to other road users was obvious.

"This was a very serious episode of dangerous driving, posing a substantial risk to passengers, other motorists,the police and yourself."

Mr Abbas, of Hill Top Estate, Heckmondwike, was handed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, given 150 hours of unpaid work to carry out, banned from driving for 36 months and will have to sit an extended driving test once his ban expires.

He was also told to pay £380 in costs.