Watch the moment speeding 'lunatic' led police on a high-speed chase through Harrogate on stolen Kawasaki motorbike

A high-flying businessman led police on a cat-and-mouse road chase in which he shot through red lights and bombed through built-up areas at more than twice the speed limit on an uninsured Kawasaki motorbike.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Friday, 25th September 2020, 4:05 pm

Craig Hindson, 34, rode like a “lunatic” as he clocked up speeds of more than 80mph through Harrogate and Knaresborough and put at least one cyclist in mortal danger, York Crown Court heard.

During the death-defying chase, the father-of-two taunted the pursuing officer by slowing down and “waving with his hand, indicating to pull over” – only to drop down the gears and speed off again, said prosecutor Dan Cordey.

This screen grab from the North Yorkshire Police dashcam footage shows Hindson speeding away from officers along the A59 towards the A1(M).

At one stage, Hindson appeared to give himself up after pulling into a layby and stopping the bike. Police pulled in and an officer got out – only for Hindson to speed off again.

The chase began on the A59 at the junction of York Road and Wetherby Road where Hindson began revving his engine aggressively in a line of traffic waiting at temporary traffic lights at roadworks, drawing stares from people waiting at a bus stop.

Suddenly, Hindson “accelerated sharply, straight through a red light at high speed towards the Goldsborough roundabout”, added Mr Cordey.

Craig Hindson, 34, rode like a “lunatic” as he clocked up speeds of more than 80mph through Harrogate and Knaresborough. Picture: North Yorkshire Police

Among the queue of traffic was a marked police car which gave chase but despite the wailing of sirens and flashing blue lights, Hindson sped up to “at least” 80mph on a 30mph stretch of road.

He shot through another set of lights, hotly pursued by police, just as two cyclists - a man and a woman - were crossing the junction.

The female cyclist had to stop in her tracks to avoid a potential collision. The scenes were witnessed by startled pedestrians walking along the pavement.

Hindson, wearing shorts, kept looking over his shoulder at the police car as he attempted to speed away.

“At times, he would slow down (and) wave with his hand, indicating to pull over, (then) drop gear before accelerating quickly away,” said Mr Cordey.

A short time later, Hindson appeared to give himself up when he pulled into a layby and came to a stop. The police car pulled up beside him, an officer got out and walked up to Hindson.

“He shouted at (Hindson) to remove his helmet and switch the machine off,” added Mr Cordey.

“The defendant nodded, but then very quickly accelerated away…onto the A59, towards the A1.”

The police vehicle managed to prevent Hindson pulling onto the A1 and instead the Kawasaki was forced into a dead-end, where it came to a halt. Hindson was duly arrested.

The officer found false registration plates on the Kawasaki, which Hindson said he had obtained from a “local lad”. The exact provenance of the motorbike remains unclear.

Hindson, of Princess Close, Ripon, was charged with dangerous driving, handling a stolen Kawasaki ZX and using a vehicle without insurance or a licence.

The tweed-jacketed businessman appeared in court on Tuesday when he admitted all three driving matters but denied handling stolen goods. His pleas were accepted by the prosecution and the handling charge was allowed to lie on file.

Defence barrister Holly Clegg said Hindson’s actions were “foolish”, albeit out of character.

He had been going through a “difficult time” after being kicked out of the family home and separating from his partner.

She said Hindson had been offered a go on the bike by a “lad he had seen around the local area” and “foolishly” the businessman took up the offer because he thought the motorbike was “cool”.

Hindson ran a successful groundworks and Tarmacking company which employed eight people. References from business contacts described him as a hard-working, “reputable businessman” who was a devoted father and “very honourable individual”.

Hindson, wearing a crisp blue shirt and gold-coloured tie, had previous convictions including one for causing grievous bodily harm in 2011, when he received a suspended prison sentence.

Judge Sean Morris told him he had ridden “like a lunatic” and could easily have killed someone, particularly the female cyclist who was in danger of being struck by the police car due to Hindson’s actions. This was no fault of the pursuing officer.

Hindson was jailed for six months and given a 15-month driving ban.

Sergeant Julian Pearson of North Yorkshire Police’s Road Policing Group condemned Hindson’s dangerous driving, he said: “Hindson showed no regard whatsoever for other people’s safety. Such dangerous riding won’t be tolerated in North Yorkshire and I hope he uses the time in the prison to reflect on his actions, the danger he put other road users in and the potential fatal consequences of riding at such speeds.”