A motorist who sped away from police led them on a chase which only ended when he crashed into two other vehicles in the centre of Cleckheaton.

Leeds Crown Court heard today that staff at McDonald’s in Heckmondwike called the police on May 15 because they suspected a driver behind the wheel of a Peugeot in the drive through had been drinking.

Two police vehicles arrived and when he saw them the driver, Adam Ramsden, made off at speed with tyres screeching.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said both police vehicles illuminated their blue lights but the car did not stop at a give way and reached 50mph in a 30mph zone.

He went through a red light without stopping and accelerated to 60mph overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road.

He then took a sharp left hand turn causing his vehicle to skid before he entered roads in a housing estate still doing between 40mph-50mph.

 

Ramsden then approached another set of lights on red where traffic was queuing and drove past them on the opposite side through the red lights and colliding with two vehicles at the junction of St Peg Lane and Dewsbury Road, Cleckheaton.

In the first a motorist was travelling with his nine-year-old son, his son’s friend also aged nine and his stepson aged 14. All three boys suffered whiplash injuries and his son has since been terrified to travel in vehicles.

The driver of the other vehicle, a Citroen 2, also suffered whiplash. She only had third party insurance and as a result of her vehicle being a write-off had paid out nearly £1,000.

Miss Pryke said Ramsden was injured in the collision and because petrol was spilled the area had to be cordoned off, causing traffic problems.

One of the injured was taken to hospital by air ambulance which landed in the nearby King Edward Memorial park. An officer described Ramsden’s driving as the worst he had seen in eight years.

Crash at St Peg lane cross roads, Cleckheaton
Crash at St Peg lane cross roads, Cleckheaton
 

The court heard Ramsden had his driving licence revoked for medical reasons in March this year.

While on bail for the driving offences Ramsden was then involved in an assault on a drunken man walking home from a barbecue in Dewsbury in July whose wallet was taken but returned after a woman challenged those involved.

Keith Allen for Ramsden said he had become addicted to prescription medication prescribed for his personality disorder and as a result of illness and that it caused him to slur his speech. That was why staff at McDonalds suspected he had been drinking when he had not.

He said Ramsden also accepted he would illegally buy further medication “to top up what he has legitimately.”

Mr Allen added: “He says he sometimes makes stupid decisions and they are clearly here going to have serious consequences for him. He made a stupid choice to drive that day and has to accept responsibility.”

Ramsden, 26 of Wellington Place, Halifax, admitted dangerous driving and theft. He was found guilty of common assault.

Jailing him for a total of 18 months with three years driving disqualification Judge Sally Cahill QC said: “This was the most appalling piece of driving.”

She said one vehicle had been written off as a result of the collision and in the other were three children who had been “traumatised as a result, fortunately none were seriously injured though that is nothing you can take credit for.”