A driver caught on Deansgate in Manchester with stolen taxi plates on his Ford Mondeo - before he led police on a 20-minute high-speed chase has avoided jail.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Anas Abuhdaima, 26, initially stopped for officers in Manchester city centre after they pulled him over but then attempted to flee leading officers on a 20-minute pursuit before he was finally caught.
Prosecutor Jon Savage told Manchester Crown Court that the incident happened just after 1am on December 19, 2018.
"Police officers on patrol in Manchester city centre had cause to stop the defendant's vehicle, a Ford Mondeo, on Deansgate, after receiving reports that it was being driven as a taxi," Mr Savage said.
"There was a passenger in the front of the car. The defendant did stop when indicated to do so but when he was required to get out he drove away so the officer followed him."
Abuhdaima drove along Deansgate and onto Chapel Street, where he went through a red light. He then drove onto Trinity Way on the wrong side of the road, and along Cheetham Hill Road. He reached speeds of around 80 miles an hour - the speed limit was 30.
"The defendant crossed several blind junctions without stopping," Mr Savage added.
"He went through two more sets of red traffic lights before stopping at a petrol station where the passenger got out.
"The defendant then drove away again and led officers to Fallowfield, where he stopped on Bucklow Avenue and ran into a cul-de-sac.
"The force helicopter was used and the defendant was located in a garden but tried to run from police again."
Abuhdaima was eventually stopped arrested.
His car was found to be fitted with a stolen taxi licence plate. The defendant didn't have a driving licence at the time.
"There was little traffic on the road at that time in the morning but this does not mean that the defendant was not putting himself or other road users at risk."
Defence lawyer Harriet Tighe said her client has matured emotionally and shows genuine remorse.
Ms Tighe urged the judge, Recorder Geoffrey Payne, to suspend any term of custody imposed.
Judge Recorder Payne agreed to suspend Abuhdaima's sentence as he said there was a 'realistic prospect of rehabilitation'.
Abuhdaima, from Moston, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving. He was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He must complete 80 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Abuhdaima will also have an electronically-monitored curfew for three months and will be disqualified from driving for 18 months.