Police abandoned car when chasing Savile Town driver amid safety fears

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A MOTORIST guilty of ‘the worst driving’ a policeman had ever seen’ has escaped a jail because of mental health issues.

Sohib Mahroof, of Savile Town, was driving at up to 70mph in Wakefield city centre when police abandoned their chase for safety reasons.

A judge told the 22-year-old that he would normally get an 18-month jail term for his ‘very bad case of dangerous driving’, but it was apparent he had been suffering from mental health problems .

Leeds Crown Court heard how the pursuit began at about 7.20pm on June 27, 2011, when a patrolman pulled in behind Mahroof’s red Audi at traffic lights near the Trinity Walk shopping centre.

Mahroof, sped off down Marsh Way and reached speeds of up to 70mph at one point. He also hit 65mph in heavy traffic at Horbury Road.

Police decided to call off the chase after he entered a built up area.

The policeman who had been following him said it as the worst driving he has seen in the two years he has been driving police vehicles.

Mahroof was picked up by police about 10 minutes later in another part of the city.

An earlier hearing was told how Mahroof panicked after seeing the police car because he did not know whether he was insured for his dad’s car. He drove to Wakefield after getting paranoid about his girlfriend.

Mahroof, of Headfield Road, admitted dangerous driving.

Anastasis Tasou, mitigating, said his client had been in little trouble and had never been before the courts.

Since the offence, he had been receiving professional treatment and returned to university.

Judge Scott Wolstenholme said a prison sentence would be a severe set back to Mahroof’s mental health.

Mahroof was banned from driving for three years and will also face an extended driving test.

He was also given a 12 month community order with 150 hours unpaid work and a 30 day medium intensity activity requirement.