Banned driver from Castleford jailed after high speed police chase

NathanFurnisse drove at 50mph in a 30mph limit on Sweet Street and drove the wrong way along a one way street, causing another vehicle to stop and reverse.
NathanFurnisse drove at 50mph in a 30mph limit on Sweet Street and drove the wrong way along a one way street, causing another vehicle to stop and reverse.

A banned driver who drove at up to 60mph in 20mph zone during a police chase in Leeds has been jailed.

Nathan Furnisse abandoned his car and tried to hide in the back garden of a house, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The West Yorkshire Police helicopter had been called in to follow the pursuit and 24-year-old Furnisse tracked down and arrested.

Paul Canfield, prosecuting, said police spotted Furnisse driving a Fiat Punto erratically on the A61 in Leeds city centre at around 2.30pm on August 16.

Furnisse, of Westfield Avenue, Castleford, failed to stop and overtook vehicles on the wrong side of the road and went through a red traffic light as he headed towards the Holbeck area of Leeds.

Mr Canfield said Furnisse drove at 50mph in a 30mph limit on Sweet Street and drove the wrong way along a one way street, causing another vehicle to stop and reverse.

Furnisse went on to the wrong side of the road when he overtook a van and a skip wagon on Domestic Road.

Mr Canfield said police described that manoeuvre as "extremely dangerous."

The court heard Furnisse drove down three dead end roads and mounted kerbs and drove on grass verges and pavements.

Furnisse drove o the wrong side of Stanningley Road and drove at up to 60mph in a 20mph zone on Fairfield Hill, Bramley.

A pedestrian had to jump back from the road to avoid being hit by Furnisse's car on Lower Town Street in Bramley.

Furnisse abandoned the car and hid in the back garden of a house.

Mr Canfield said the police helicopter directed officers to where Furnisse was hiding and he was arrested at the end of the 13-minute pursuit.

Furnisse admitted dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified.

He has 30 previous convictions for 41 offences, including dangerous driving, theft, burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and assault.

A probation officer said Furnisse had bought the car for £200 and hoped to sell it for 250.

The court was told Furnisse had been driving it to see a prospective buyer and panicked when he saw police as he was a banned driver.

Shila Whitehead, mitigating, said: "He readily accepts he acted foolishly."

Jailing Furnisse for 14 months, Judge Tom Bayliss QC told him: "You were deliberately driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic in an attempt to evade police."

Judge Bayliss banned Furnisse from driving for 31 months.