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VIDEO: Maniac driver in terrifying car chase at Crawshawbooth
11:56am Tuesday 7th August 2012 in Rossendale
A CAR thief who led police on a high-speed chase and then mugged a man whilst on bail has been jailed for 31 months.
Christopher Melody, 20, who stole a Toyota Yaris from Haslingden with a teenage accomplice, was filmed clocking up about 80 mph on Crown Point Road in Burnley, before turning left into Manchester Road.
He then overtook several vehicles, was on the wrong side of the road on a blind right-hand bend and was doing 70mph as he hit a 40mph zone.
PC Gavin Wesley, who had activated his emergency lights, was in pursuit.
Burnley Crown Court was shown a DVD with footage of the incident, taken from inside the officer's vehicle, as prosecutor Adam Watkins opened the case.
Melody, who was travelling at 60mph as he reached 30mph Crawshawbooth, managed to escape the police as he entered the village, but was arrested soon after.
The vehicle was found abandoned in Rawtenstal and the defendant and his friend were detained running through a nearby cemetery.
The defendant was bailed and took part in a robbery with another man, which left the victim with facial bruising Melody, of Piccadilly Street, Haslingden, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and robbery. He was banned for two years and must take an extended retest.
Mr Watkins said the defendant and the teenager got the car keys when the victim left them by accident in Haslingden library, last November 14.
They then stole the Yaris two days later, from outside the man’s home.
On November 18, police in a marked vehicle spotted the stolen car at traffic lights in Burnley. Melody was behind the wheel and the teenager was his passenger.
The officer, not an authorised pursuit driver, pulled up behind it and the defendant went onto the wrong side of the road and went through the red lights.
PC Wesley, an authorised pursuit driver, was called in, in an unmarked police traffic vehicle and found Melody driving on Crown Point Road.
The officer followed him, but lost sight of the Toyota as it went through Crawshawbooth at considerable speed.
Melody's accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been given a referral order by the youth court for his part in the incident.