A CAR criminal who led police on a high-speed chase through rush- hour traffic in Clifton has been jailed.

Anthony Vipas collided with a police car and a parked car, overtook ten vehicles waiting at a red traffic light by driving on the wrong side of the road, mounted the pavement, went through bollards, drove at nearly twice the speed limit and had to be tasered twice before he could be arrested.

Cars and pedestrians had to take evasive action to avoid being hit.

It was the second time Vipas had fled from police in a car. In 2007, he drove at a policeman, giving him a wrist injury when the officer tried to stop him in Nessgate. On each occasion he was banned from driving.

Vipas, 29, of Lucas Avenue, Clifton, pleaded guilty to aggravated taking of a vehicle without consent, dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified. Offences of failure to provide a blood sample to see if he was drink-driving, failure to stop and driving without insurance were taken into account.

At York Crown Court, Recorder Mark Cran QC told him: “It is an appalling tale and it is not for the first time, unfortunately.” About the overtaking at a red light by a junction, he said: “A dreadful accident could have happened if someone had turned into the road and found nowhere to go.”

Vipas was jailed for 14 months, banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to take an extended driving test before being allowed to drive unsupervised again.

Helen Wheatley, prosecuting, said police signalled Vipas to stop when an officer saw him at the wheel of a car stolen in a burglary last December. He made off along Horner Street, off Burton Stone Lane. The chase took him through Clifton and ended near Eastholme Drive, Rawcliffe, when police collided with the car he was driving and he tried to make off on foot.

For Vipas, Glenn Parsons said he was ashamed and remorseful for his actions. He had made off when police initially asked him to stop because he feared that he would not be able to get to his grandfather’s funeral on the next day if he was arrested.