Watch: Even police helicopter can’t keep up as 130mph driver is chased across Leeds and Wakefield

A banned driver drove so fast as he tried to get away from West Yorkshire police officers that the force’s helicopter struggled to keep up with him.

Jimmy Connors reached speeds of over 130mph during the 30 minute pursuit across Leeds and Wakefield.

Jimmy Connors reached speeds of over 130mph during the 30 minute pursuit across Leeds and Wakefield

Jimmy Connors reached speeds of over 130mph during the 30 minute pursuit across Leeds and Wakefield

A judge jailed Connors for 16 months after describing the incident as “almost as bad a case as it gets” for an offence of dangerous driving.

Leeds Crown Court heard police officers in an unmarked car followed Connors’s Mercedes as it left The Cottingley Springs traveller site, Leeds, in the early hours of September 18 this year.

Connors failed to stop and sped off on to the M62 towards Tingley.

The force’s helicopter was called to join the pursuit after traffic officers were unable to keep up with Connors’s vehicle.

Helicopter footage of the pursuit was played in court in which the pilot can be heard saying: “We are moving as fast as we can. We are just about matching him, but not gaining.”

Connors left the M62 at Normanton and headed along Doncaster Road into Wakefield city centre.

He then went along Aberford Road through Stanley, Carlton, Robin Hood and East Ardsley before joining the M1 at junction 41.

Connors, of Ravenscliffe Avenue, Birstall, then rejoined the M62 and came off at Birstall. He was caught after abandoning the vehicle in a housing estate and trying to run away.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

The court heard he has previous convictions for driving while disqualified.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said Connors had been visiting the Cottingley Springs site and it had “slipped his mind” that he was banned from driving.

Mr Reed said Connors did not realise at first that it was the police who were following him.

Jailing Connors, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “It is a miracle that nobody was killed and no damage was done.

“This was grossly excessive speed and a determined attempt to escape the police.

“This is almost as bad a case as it gets “