A YOUNG driver who accelerated at speeds of up to 100mph in a bid to get away from police has been given a suspended jail sentence after a judge was persuaded he had seen the error of his ways.

Antony Northmore, 22, led a patrol car on a high speed pursuit which began in Yarm High Street and took in Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby.

Northmore, of Hampden Way, Thornaby, later told police he had been driving his friend's Audi, having told him he was insured and had a full driving licence.

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However he had neither of those things and had yet to pass his test, having had ten driving lessons.

Police began pursuing Northmore after he sped past one of their vehicles at about 7.45pm on April 9 last year.

The defendant reached 100mph on the 50mph restricted Leven Bank, near Yarm, and also drove on the wrong side of the road.

He finally abandoned the car in Thornaby. Prosecuting, Harry Hadfield said Northmore was later arrested and told police he had panicked and “put his foot down”.

He admitted dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.

Duncan McReddie, mitigating, said he had expressed remorse and surrendered himself voluntarily to police after going into a police station.

The barrister also said he had shown genuine insight into his actions.

Judge Howard Crowson said he was persuaded that, if given his liberty, Northmore would not be in trouble with the courts again and also said he was someone who had been in very little trouble previously.

He gave him a ten month jail sentence, suspended for a year, along with 80 hours unpaid work and said he would also have to attend a 'Thinking Skills' programme.