Driver 'foaming at the mouth and laughing' while crashing car during police chase - Leeds Crown Court

Thornbury Roundabout in West Yorkshire
Thornbury Roundabout in West Yorkshire
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A DRIVER injured a pensioner as he stole his car after crashing his own vehicle during a police chase.

Tyrone Ricketts also terrified motorist sat in traffic as he went from car to car trying door handles.

Thornbury Roundabout in West Yorkshire

Thornbury Roundabout in West Yorkshire

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A court heard Ricketts was "laughing maniacally", foaming at the mouth and slurring his words during the disturbance at Thornbury Roundabout.

Jessica Randall, prosecuting, said the incident began on January 28 this year when officers saw Ricketts speeding through Leeds along the A647.

Ricketts failed to stop his Mercedes for officers and drove at 80mph as he overtook other cars.

Miss Randall said he collided with a van but carried on driving.

He then crashed into an Alfa Romeo on Dick Lane, badly damaging his own vehicle.

The driver approached Rickett's car to see if he was injured.

The prosecutor said Ricketts was sat in the driving seat laughing with the music turned up.

Ricketts then got out of the car and ran towards Thornbury Roundabout.

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He was seen trying to open car doors and heard saying: "I could have this one, I could have that one."

He then got into a Ford Focus after the 71-year-old driver got out to check on the disturbance.

Ricketts pushed the pensioner to the ground as he tried to stop the defendant getting into the car.

Ricketts closed the door and turned the car around in traffic, hitting another vehicle.

The pensioner was struck by the car and hit his head on the wing mirror.

The 29-year-old then drove in the wrong direction down a one-way street.

He struck another car as he mounted the pavement.

Ricketts climbed out of the driver's window and tried to get into other vehicles before being detained by a member of the public.

Ricketts, of Sebastopol Road, Edmonton, London, pleaded guilty to two offences of dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and assault.

Imran Khan, mitigating, said Ricketts had been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder.

The court heard the offences occurred when he was experiencing a "hypomanic episode" as a result of the condition.

Mr Khan said Ricketts had been in custody since the incident and had been receiving treatment.

Ricketts was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to take part in a 20-day rehabilitation programme.

Judge Christopher Batty told Ricketts: "You have heard in graphic detail the impact of your actions.

"At the time you behaved in that way you were suffering by way of your bipolar disorder.

"This was a hypomanic episode that caused you to behave in this manner.

"It was not borne entirely out of malice.

"You must seek the necessary help and get the appropriate medication to ensure you do not behave in this way again in the future."