Two notorious York men have been jailed after fleeing police in a death-defying chase through city streets.
Daniel Brown, 34, and Anthony Vipas, 39, were in a red Ford Fiesta which sped through residential streets and 20mph zones with police in pursuit, York Crown Court heard.
During the chase along Holgate Road and Boroughbridge Road, a police vehicle had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision as the Fiesta, driven by Vipas, hurtled towards traffic on the wrong side of the road, said prosecutor Brooke Morrison.
At one point, a third passenger in the back of the Fiesta hurled a bottle at the pursuing police car.
A judge described it as “the most monstrous piece of driving”.
Police finally caught up with the Fiesta and Brown and Vipas were arrested, along with the third unnamed man.
It emerged that they had taken the car without permission from the home of a female friend after stealing the keys. A child’s bike had also been stolen from the property.
Ms Morrison said that Vipas was banned from driving at the time of the incident on 6 November last year.
‘Nasty, mean offences’
Vipas’s 23-year record, dating back to 1999, included dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, burglary, drug-driving, aggravated vehicle-taking, drug matters and handling stolen goods. He was locked up in 2012 for dangerous driving and given a four-year jail sentence for burglary in 2019.
Brown’s vast criminal record started in 2002 with offences of violence. His rap sheet also included affray, handling stolen goods, driving while disqualified, failing to report a road-traffic accident, burglary, threatening behaviour and a racially aggravated incident.
He had served three prison terms for assaults and was imprisoned for 10 months in 2020 for dangerous driving.
Neil Cutte, for Vipas, said that following his arrest, the father-of-one had been recalled to prison to serve the remainder of his previous burglary sentence.
He said Vipas had “no real rational explanation” for what were “nasty, mean” offences.
Charlotte Noddings, for Brown, said that prior to the offences, her client had been turning his life around after being stabbed in York, suffering a punctured lung which left him with mental-health problems.
“When he’s released from prison he’s going to go back to his job as a baker,” she added.
Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, said the only reason that Brown’s culpability was less than that of Vipas was because he was not the driver “and you were not the one who could have killed someone”.
“It was the most monstrous piece of driving,” added Mr Morris.
He told Vipas: “You are lucky that you haven’t killed anybody. Whoever was in the back of (the) car hurled a bottle at the chasing police car.
“How in God’s name that man has not been prosecuted…I just do not know.”
He branded Brown and Vipas “idiots…who couldn’t give a damn (about putting other road-users) at risk”.
Jailing Vipas for 20 months, the judge cited his two previous convictions for dangerous driving. Vipas was also slapped with a two-year driving ban.
Brown was jailed for 12 months and also given a two-year motoring ban.