Dramatic footage has captured the moment an audacious taxi thief led police on a high-speed chase before he was found hiding in a sheep trough.
According to the Mirror, reckless Luke Kilminster, 31, swiped the cab from outside York train station as the driver helped his fare load cases into the boot.
CCTV showed how he raced away from the station with the boot still open - and took off, registering speeds in excess of 100mph as police gave chase in dashcam footage.
A judge at York Crown Court told Kilminster that it was the worst case of aggravated vehicle taking he had ever come across.
He was spotted driving across both lanes and the central reservation along the A64 by police who began a pursuit on September 27 this year.
The thief’s getaway was only halted after hitting and writing off a BMW which had a man and his 11-year-old son inside.
Kilminster managed to escape the wreckage and fled into nearby farmland where he was arrested around five minutes later while hiding in a sheep trough.
Although uninjured, he was taken to York Hospital after complaining of feeling unwell.
A court heard that while the curtains were drawn around his bed he used his drip stand to smash the window of his first-floor room and made a break for freedom.
However, he was found by hospital security about ten minutes later sitting in hospital grounds after feeling unwell again.
Kilminster, of Helmsley, North Yorks, appeared via video link and was sentenced to 16 months for stealing a taxi and eight months for escaping custody.
The court was read a statement from the driver of the BMW, who had been returning from visiting his father in hospital when he was struck by Kilminster in the stolen taxi.
He said: “I went left from the outside lane to the inside lane, virtually facing the the way I had come from, to a halt feet from a ditch near a large tree.
“I really don’t know how I managed to get away without hitting any other vehicles.”
The driver said the stress of the incident had affected his whole family and brought back memories of a fatal car crash which killed his brother just two years ago.
He said he now found it difficult to concentrate, had suffered from stiffness, a sore neck and bruises, and had overlooked his wife’s birthday through anxiety caused by Kilminster’s actions.
The owner of the hackney carriage said he had to pay £600 to cover his insurance excess after Kilminster wrote off the vehicle.
He had also been unable to work for three weeks and had to pay to register his new vehicle with the council and said he now felt ‘very apprehensive about going back’.
Mitigating, Mark Partridge said his client’s actions were ‘unforgivable’ but a pre-sentence report suggested his client was unhappy he would miss the birth of his second child due to his expected prison sentence.
Mr Partridge said Kilminster had suffered from depression ‘and does not know how his mind will be at the time’.
The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, said: “My powers in this case of sentence are in my judgment far too limited. You should have been charged with the additional charge of dangerous driving, instead of an offence of aggravated vehicle taking.
“Your only point in mitigation was a guilty plea, even though you were caught red-handed, I’m obligated to give you one-third reduction. This is as bad a case of aggravated vehicle taking as I have ever come across. Absolutely appalling.”