An Iraqi-born asylum seeker has been jailed for twelve months after leading police on a wild late-night car chase in a stolen BMW whilst under the influence of cannabis, it has emerged.
Harem Hassan drove the stolen vehicle at up to 97mph as he attempted to evade capture from authorities in Country Durham in a pursuit that left two police vehicles damaged.
The vehicle, believed to have been reported stolen in the south of England was flagged by a police patrol car prompting demands from Hassan to pull over, however the asylum seeker sped up, recklessly undertaking other vehicles at considerable speed as other occupants of his vehicle threw objects out the car windows.
The car was eventually disabled using a stinger device which blew one of its tyres, with Hasan crashing the vehicle off the main road and through a fence into a nearby field.
The other occupants managed to evade capture as they fled the scene but Hasan was caught and arrested, Durham County Court heard.
Hassan, who came to Britain in 2016 from Iraq seeking asylum, tested positive for cannabis and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drug driving, driving without insurance and without a licence.
Hassan’s defence lawyer in mitigation explained how his client had been too scared to stop for the police and had no previous convictions. He was staying in a hostel in Oxford and was unlikely to trouble authorities again.
However the presiding judge took a dim view of the asylum seeker’s behaviour, insisting the reckless conduct including drivin at “grossly excessive speeds” was “too serious” not to impose a custodial sentence as he jailed him for twelve months.
Hassan was also banned from driving for 18 months.