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Shane Dunwell took girlfriend's car and drove across pavements and dual carriageways to try to evade police...

A driver who drove ‘like a lunatic’ in a stolen car on the pavement and on the wrong side of a dual carriageway before hitting a cyclist has been jailed for ten months.

Shane Dunwell had taken his girlfriend’s car without permission in October this year, so he could pick up a gaming handset from a friend.

When he was seen by officers driving the car in Leeds, a high speed pursuit ensued, which stopped eight minutes later when the police driver found a cyclist in the road screaming in pain.

Dunwell, who has a string of motoring and other offences already to his name, had hit the 46 year old cyclist with his girlfriend’s Fiesta, and the judge described it as  “good fortune” that the cyclist or pedestrians were not killed,  according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Dunwell, now of Dewsbury Road, Beeston, Leeds, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking.

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said: “He accepts that what he did was totally wrong.”

Mr Sugare added Dunwell had contacted the cyclist to apologise.”

Judge Neil Clark said: “It is frankly lunatic driving of the worst possible kind. In fact I can’t imagine anything worse. This is a serious offence of its kind.”

Sentencing guidelines from the CPS for Aggravated Vehicle Taking (Dangerous driving/death/injury) show that the offence carries a maximum sentence of two years - rising to 14 years only if the driving causes a death.

A reduction in sentence for a guilty plea is usual.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.