Single decker taken on joyride by banned drunk driver

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A banned driver drank two litres of cider before taking a bus on a joyride through the city centre.

Stephen Pope stole his second bus of the evening on Sunday night from Wakefield bus depot on Barnsley Road.

The bus smashed into parked cars, walls, knocked one car into a garden, hit a police vehicle and was been ‘driven all over the place’ including on the wrong side of the A650 carriageway.

City magistrates were told that Pope, 34, of Peterson Road, took the bus at about 8.30pm on Sunday.

Police began to follow it through the city centre before bursting its tyres to bring it to a halt on Ledger Lane, before it went onto the busy A61. Officers then boarded the bus and arrested Pope.

Earlier that same evening Pope had tried to take another bus from the Union Street bus station. Later he went to the depot in Belle Vue and took a single decker Arriva bus worth £300,000.

Prosecutor Karen Medley said: “He had drunk two litres of cider. He remembers going to the bus station and getting on the bus. He got off and walked to the bus depot.

The court was told that Pope had also caused £6,500 worth of damage after taking a bus from the Union Street Station on July 15. It collided with two other buses and Pope fled the scene but was later recognised from CCTV.

And in January Pope was banned from driving for five years for offences which included driving while unfit through drink or drugs and driving while disqualified and served 22 weeks in prison.

Mitigating, Lynda Wood said she would be making one of briefest addresses of her career. She said: “He has been correctly advised you will be sending him to crown court and remanding him in custody.”

Pope pleaded guilty to nine offences which included two of aggravated vehicle taking, driving while over the prescribed limit, driving with no insurance and driving while disqualified.

He is expected to appear before Leeds Crown Court later this month.