A man has been given a suspended jail sentence after a plea he be allowed to be at the birth of his first child.
Judge Sally Cahill QC told James Ramsden at Leeds Crown Court she was prepared to give him a “one off” chance after hearing from a probation officer he appeared to be at a turning point in his life.
She said his offences clearly crossed the custody threshold, but he had not committed more since July last year, had found work as a window cleaner and was about to become a father.
Nicholas Worsley, QC, representing Ramsden said the birth was expected on November 6.
He added: “Impending fatherhood seems to have had a sobering effect on him. He has spent his life in and out of courts but has done what he can to change his life and wants to be present for the birth of his son.”
Mark Brookes, prosecuting, said a van was stolen in Manchester on July 22 last year. Ramsden and his co-accused Justin Wakefield had not been involved in that, but by about 5pm the next day Ramsden was driving it with false number plates and with Wakefield as his passenger.
Wakefield exchanged words with a former partner in Dewsbury and the van was driven near her, causing her to jump out of the way.
Later in Speakers Court, Dewsbury, more words were exchanged with that woman’s mother before Ramsden reversed the van at speed.
Mr Brookes said: “It is not clear if it strikes her, but she falls and suffers minor injury.”
The van was then driven off, colliding with a parked Vauxhall Corsa. A short time later the van was involved in another collision in Crossley Lane, near Mirfield when it reversed into a VW Golf before it followed another car a short distance and that car was damaged in a confrontation.
Mr Worsley said the later incidents stemmed from others following over the first collision.
Ramsden was injured in the incident and needed 18 stitches to a gash in his head.
Ramsden, 31 of Green Close, Westborough, Dewsbury admitted aggravated vehicle taking, three charges of dangerous driving, affray, common assault and driving while disqualified. He was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years with 30 rehabilitation activity days, 150 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for 18 months.
Wakefield, 37, then of Speakers Court, admitted being carried in a vehicle and affray and was given 20 months in prison suspended for two years, with 15 rehabilitation activity days and 150 hours unpaid work.