Man led police on high speed chase around Rotherham

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Two pedestrians jumped for their lives as a speeding joyrider crashed into cars and tore around Rotherham town centre, a court heard.

Police had to call in the force helicopter to help officers arrest 20-year-old Bradley Downs who led them on a chase in his VW Golf.

The officers activated their patrol car’s siren and flashing lights on Wellgate after checks showed Downs was an uninsured driver, said Neil Coxon, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court.

But he failed to stop and raced off, driving the wrong way up one way streets and along pavements before colliding with a Renault Clio.

Mr Coxon said he reached speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph zone.

On Doncaster Road a pedestrian had to jump out of Downs’ way before he went the wrong way around a traffic island and just missed a driver who was getting into his car.

“He was cutting corners and used several more driving manoeuvres which caused the police to back off,” said Mr Coxon.

Downs, of Carlton Gate Drive, Kiveton Park, came to a halt after colliding with a Ford Focus in a cul-de-sac.

He given a nine-month jail term suspended for a year for the dangerous driving offence when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court last July.

But he was back in the dock at Sheffield after he admitted criminal damage and failing to attend Rotherham Magistrates Court which put him in breach of the suspended jail sentence.

The criminal damage offence related to an incident during which Downs went to the home of Hannah Brown and her partner in Limetree Avenue, Thurcroft on September 13 and smashed a window of her Vauxhall Corsa with a baseball bat.

On another occasion he damaged a car belonging to his ex girlfriend Amy Beatson.

David Baines, defending Downs, said he accepted he needed to address his anger management problems and the way he handled relationships.

He said: “He should be given one final chance to rehabilitate.”

But Judge Robert Moore said he had been given a community order for ‘acts of vengeance’ and then a suspended jail term for the driving offence.

He had later turned up at the couple’s home and ‘instilled a lot of fear into the two occupants’.

“It is so serious only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified,” he said.

He jailed Downs for a year and one day - activating the nine month jail term for dangerous driving and giving him a total of three months consecutively for the other offences.

Downs was also made subject of a five-year restraining order and told not to contact Miss Brown or to go within 100 metres of her home.