Sheffield driver locked up for police chase

Ashley Gurnhill convicted of burglary, theft, dangerous driving.
Ashley Gurnhill convicted of burglary, theft, dangerous driving.
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An uninsured motorist who led police on a 20-minute high speed chase around Sheffield has been jailed for 23 months.

Ashley Gurnhill, aged 22, travelled at speeds of up to 70mph, hurtled through red lights, and flew over speed bumps as he led officers on a circular chase around Handsworth earlier this year.

Sheffield Crown Court heard police officers on morning patrol noticed Gurnhill cover his face as he drove past them, and tried to slump down in the driver’s seat of a white VW Golf GTI.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said the police activated their lights and sirens and followed him but Gurnhill failed to stop.

“He overtook and undertook vehicles on a dual carriageway and went through red lights at 50mph,” she said.

The court was told Gurnhill drove at speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph zone, before finally coming to a halt.

The officers removed the keys from the car.

The court heard he also burgled a three-bedroom house in Nether Edge last Christmas while the householder was in Poland and stole a £10,000 car from the drive.

The house had been ransacked and drawers searched, said Miss Gallagher.

The housholder’s laptop computer for her work at Sheffield University had been stolen, along with her car keys and her partner’s spare keys.

Her car was stolen from outside.

The court heard Gurnhill, of Jaunty Avenue, Base Green, committed the driving offence while on bail for the Nether Edge break-in.

He had borrowed the car because his own was being repaired.

He admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance, burglary and stealing the car.

Richard Adams, defending, said Gurnhill had engineering qualifications and had worked as a car salesman but was made redundant and was living on benefits.

He said Gurnhill was ‘foolish’ to commit the burglary.

Judge Roger Keen told Gurnhill: “You either have become or are beginning to turn into a criminal.

“I am conscious that there might be some hope for you because you are only 22 but your position is aggravated because you were on bail at the time of the dangerous driving.”

Jailing him for 23 months, Judge Keen told him: “You caused considerable danger to other road users.”