Sheffield driver jailed after police chase

Callum Watson jailed after police pursuit.
Callum Watson jailed after police pursuit.
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A youth who led police on a high speed car chase around Sheffield city centre, hurtling at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour, has been jailed for 12 months.

Callum Watson, aged 20, ‘panicked’ when police activated their ‘blues and twos’ and began to pursue him along Ecclesall Road after he ran a red light.

Sheffield Crown Court heard police were alerted to Watson’s dangerous driving by another motorist who saw him jump a red light on Penistone Road.

Officers in an unmarked car tracked him down on Ecclesall Road and activated their blue lights and sirens, said Bev Tate, prosecuting.

“The defendant accelerated away along Harrow Street, and was travelling at 40mph in a 30mph limit,” she said.

“He didn’t give way and went through another red light.

“On London Road, traffic had to take evasive action.”

Miss Tate said Watson careered down St Mary’s Gate and on to Hanover Way, travelling at speeds of up to 70mph.

“He was forcing traffic out of the way,” she said.

Watson sped along Netherthorpe Road, Penistone Road and Upperthorpe Road, ‘bullying’ traffic out of the way in a blue Subaru Impreza he had bought the day before.

When he was confronted by a police officer with a stop sign on Penistone Road, he did a U-turn in the carriageway before screeching the wrong way down a one way street.

He was stopped only after he smashed into a silver Seat being driven by 72-year-old Dennis Campbell and wrote off both cars, before jumping out of his vehicle and fleeing on foot.

Mr Campbell and his granddaughter, who was a front seat passenger, were both injured.

Mr Campbell suffered a cut to his hand, and back and calf pain, while his granddaughter suffered back, rib and hip pain and had to be kept in hospital overnight.

“She was frightened, upset and in shock, and is now very tense when in a vehicle,” Miss Tate added.

She said Mr Campbell had been driving for 45 years, but even he is now wary of getting into a vehicle.

Watson admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance, no licence, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.

Michael Upson, defending, said Watson, of Gregg House Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield, handed himself in a week after the New Year’s Day collision this year.

“He accepts it was bad, dangerous driving, made worse by the collision,” he said.

“When the police put their lights and sirens on he panicked immediately, and he tried to get away,” he added.

Judge Paul Camp said Watson’s guilty plea and the fact he’d handed himself in was his best mitigation.

He said Watson had previous convictions for violence but there were no driving offences on his record, and sent him to a young offenders’ institute for 12 months.

He was also banned him from driving for two years, and told to pay a £100 victim surcharge.