A prolific young criminal who led police on an 80mph chase through residential streets in a stolen car has been jailed.
Zafar Iqbal Walmsley Khan alerted the police’s suspicions after being seen with a ‘panicked look’ as he approached the junction of Queens Road West and Dill Hall Lane in Accrington.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the 22-year-old ‘accelerated hard’ after officers tried to stop the Ford Ka and reached speeds of up to 80mph on Queens Road West.
He then went through a red light at the junction with Accrington Victoria Hospital at 77mph before police lost sight of the car.
Khan, of Clement Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was jailed for six months, disqualified from driving for 15 months and ordered to take an extended retest.
Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, told the court how officers spotted the Ford Ka at around 3.30am on September 23 and Khan had a ‘panicked look on his face’.
The court heard how, at the time of the incident, the road was being resurfaced and had ‘loose gravel’ and ‘no road markings’.
Miss Kehoe said: “The vehicle was seen to accelerate away at up to 80mph as it approached a set of traffic lights which were on red. The vehicle made no attempt to slow down and continued through them at 77mph.
“The officers tried to follow the vehicle, however as it turned onto Annie Street they lost the vehicle as they weren’t able to keep up with it due to the dangerous conditions on the road.”
Miss Kehoe said the vehicle was later spotted parked on Horne Street in Accrington and Khan was arrested nearby ‘out of breath and sweating profusely’.
Richard Dawson, defending, said it was ‘fortunate there were few people on the street at the time’.
He told the court: “Frankly nothing can be said to excuse the manner of the driving.
“He is well known to the police and he knows he’s well known. On assisting a friend to move a car, knowing full well he shouldn’t have been behind the wheel as he had no licence, he panicked and drove away as described.
“Issue is taken with regard to the speeds because he doesn’t believe the car could reach those types of speeds.
“He was perhaps a late starter to criminal activity, but having begun to move down that path he has regrettably picked up a number of convictions.”
Judge Beverley Lunt said Khan’s driving created ‘real and obvious dangers’.
Sentencing, she said: “The idea of a suspended sentence is out of the question.
“First of all for the manner of driving here which was so dangerous, but also with your history of always failing to comply with orders, to the extent that to the day after this offence you had to serve 12 weeks’ imprisonment for the last breach of the last suspended sentence your were given.
“They don’t work, they are not working on you, and therefore the only possible punishment has to be a sentence of imprisonment.
“This was dangerous driving.
“It created very real and obvious dangers and luckily no-one was on the street and no-one was physically put in danger by you, except for the four police officers trying to keep up with you in difficult circumstances.
“They sensibly had to stop. You knew you had no licence, you knew you had no insurance.
“Why you would choose to drive this stolen car just makes no sense whatsoever, especially given the number of sentences that you were under the threat of having implemented.
“I don’t know what’s going on.”