A teenager who sped off from the police was such an inept driver that he couldn’t even switch on the headlights, the judge locking him up said today.
Muhammad Zaccariyah was at the wheel of a red Mercedes C220 shortly after midnight when he ignored police orders to stop and accelerated away, tyres screeching.
Prosecutor Martin Robertshaw told Bradford Crown Court that Zaccariyah drove down Linden Avenue in Bradford Moor on to Gipsy Street before abandoning the car on Dick Lane.
The Mercedes belonging to his mother was seized by the police and Zaccariyah, 17 at the time and now 18, was arrested.
He pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on September 21 last year and was sent to a young offender institution for six months.
Mr Robertshaw said the incident started when the police saw the teenager at the wheel of the car that was parked up with the engine running.
They told him to turn it off and get out but he sped off, stopped and reversed towards the police vehicle, and they drove away again.
He had no headlights and went down the wrong side of the central reservation on to Dick Lane.
Zaccariyah had previous convictions for robbery, attempted robbery and theft, the court was told.
Kristina Goodwin said in mitigation that the dangerous driving, although serious, was over a short distance when the roads were quiet.
Zaccariyah was only 17 at the time and leading a chaotic life sofa surfing because he had no fixed address.
He had lost his way but had since made a big effort to cut down on his cannabis use.
Judge Jonathan Rose banned Zaccariyah from driving for two years and three months.
He said there was no excuse for the offence and the teenager had a bad record for one so young.
Zaccariyah, who was not licensed to drive the car, had claimed he was just sitting in it with a friend watching films, but Judge Rose rejected that explanation as “stupid.”
He had sped off in the Mercedes putting the lives of the police officers in danger.
“You can’t drive and your attempts, whether to start it, stop it or park it, could have caused injury,” he said.
Zaccariyah was so inept that he didn’t know how to switch on the headlights.
He thought he was “pretty impressive” but he had risked killing himself, his passenger, other road users and the police, the judge said.