Ex-army sniper high on cocaine drove at 95mph in 30mph zone in Castleford while fleeing police

Lower Oxford Street.
Lower Oxford Street.

A FORMER army sniper high on cocaine led police on a 15-mile chase while driving at speeds of up to 95-miles-an-hour, a court heard.

Joshua Whelan said he did it because he was an 'adrenalin junkie' and considered the 21-minute pursuit throught the streets of Castleford as "a bit of fun."

Prosecutor, Bashir Ahmed said police spotted 24-year-old Whelan driving a Fiat car erratically In Airedale, Castleford, in the early hours of July 2.

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Whelan failed to stop and a police pursuit began.

Mr Ahmed said Whelan went through two red traffic lights and drove at excessive speeds in Castleford town centre and along narrow streets.

At one stage Whelan drove at up to 95mph in a 30mph zone.

The Fiat car struck a kerb, causing a tyre to deflate, but Whelan continued to drive dangerously.

Mr Ahmed said: "He carried on and at one point, whilst turning at a junction, he almost collided head on with a truck or van."

Police eventually deployed two stinger devices and the Fiat was boxed in and Whelan was arrested.

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The court was played footage of the pursuit filmed on the police car's on board camera.

Whelan drove dangerously on roads including Fryston Road, Redhill Drive, Pontefract Road, Lower Oxford Street, Bank Street and Methley Road.

Whelan, of Methley Road, Castleford, admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

The court heard Whelan was drug swiped and tested positive for cocaine.

A probation officer told the court: "In interview he described himself as an adrenalin junkie and didn't seem to appreciate the seriousness of his actions.

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"In his words he thought it was 'a bit of fun.' He had used cocaine prior to driving."

Mitigating, William Louw said: "This man has other aspects to him. He was in the army. He served in her majesty's forces in Germany as a sniper."

Mr Louw described Whelan's behaviour as "stupidity, fun seeking moments of madness."

Jailing Whelan for eight months, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him: "This is as bad a piece of dangerous driving it has been my misfortune to watch."

Judge Marson also banned Whelan from driving for two years.