Man involved in dangerous police chase through streets of Sheffield avoids jail
A man without a driving license embarked on a dangerous, late-night police chase through the streets of Sheffield, just days after being arrested and bailed for other driving offences.
Patrolling police officers became suspicious of Luke Wareham during the incident on November 4 last year, after they caught him driving his Vauxhall Corsa in Herries Road without any lights on at around 11.30pm.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how instead of stopping when requested to by officers, Wareham sped away instead, sparking a dangerous police chase that lasted for around three-and-a-half minutes.
"The defendant failed to give way at the Elm Lane junction, forcing a vehicle to come to a stop and put its hazards on," prosecutor, Stephanie Hollis, said as she played a video of the incident to the court.
She added: "The roads were all governed by 30mph speed limits, and the defendant reached speeds of 70mph. All in all, he went through three sets of red lights."
The police chase only came to an end when Wareham, aged 24, crashed the car, causing minor injuries to himself and two of his passengers.
Wareham, of Burnaby Crescent, Walkley tested negative for alcohol and drugs, but admitted to police he had a small amount of cannabis, for his personal use, in his vehicle.
"He said he failed to stop because he knew he had no insurance and panicked," added Ms Hollis.
Police caught Wareham driving without a license and insurance just 10 days before this incident. The matter has already been dealt with at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
He pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a license at an earlier hearing.
Rebecca Tanner, defending, said Wareham needed to be able to drive across the country for his job as a scaffolder, and had been taking lessons prior to committing the two sets of driving offences.
She added: "To all intensive purposes, he is someone who ordinarily leads a law-abiding life. Ordinarily, he is a young man who demonstrates levels of maturity and dependability."
Judge Rachael Harrison sentenced Wareham to 10-months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement and made him the subject of a six-month curfew order.