A man who led police on an 11-mile chase has been jailed for 17 months after a judge told him it was only good fortune no-one was killed.
Leeds Crown Court heard details of Jez McKernan’s Ford Puma had been circulated after he drove off without paying for petrol on August 11 and was involved in another incident three days later, damaging another driver’s car.
Marie Austin-Walsh, prosecuting, said that offence on August 14 happened after he was following another man who was driving a company car in Manchester Road, Huddersfield, and became frustrated because he was driving within the 30mph limit.
McKernan began pipping his horn and shouting abuse at him, then pulled up alongside him and got out holding what the other driver and witnesses thought was a machete, but which he later claimed was a metal bar. He struck the other vehicle with it before driving off, she said.
The court was shown a police video of much of the 15-minute chase the following evening, August 15, which included Bradford Road, Bradley Road, Colne Bridge Road, Leeds Road and Greenhead Road. During the pursuit McKernan drove on the wrong side around roundabouts, through junctions and red lights without stopping and at one point did a U-turn on a dual carriageway.
He reached speeds up to 91mph.
At one stage he pulled over to let a female passenger out before driving off with his lights switched off.
He was caught later by officers following a chase on foot when he got out of the vehicle.
Ian Brook, representing McKernan, said his client had gone off the rails following the death of his father from bowel cancer earlier this year.
McKernan, 21 of Eastlands, Almondbury, had earlier admitted dangerous driving, driving without a licence and with no insurance, criminal damage and theft.
Jailing him and disqualifying him from driving for two years, Judge Christopher Batty said he sympathised over the death of McKernan’s father, but his anger management issues left him a “ticking bomb” erupting at the slightest thing.