Thornaby man on four day drugs bender crashed car during 100mph police chase, court told

The Northern Echo: Teesside Crown Court Teesside Crown Court

A MAN on a four-day drugs bender crashed a stolen car after he tried to escape from police during a 100mph chase, a court heard.

Thomas Bennett was pulled motionless from the crumpled wreckage of the vehicle - and had cocaine powder caked in his nostrils.

The 30-year-old novice driver had also taken mephedrone - or MCat - before stealing the £15,000 Seat Altea from its disabled owner.

A day after the theft in Middlesbrough in November police spotted it in Seaton Carew and began following it towards Billingham.

Bennett reached speeds of 110mph on an undulating road and narrowly missed a fully laden chemical tanker carrying hazardous waste.

Taking a bend at frighteningly high speed, he lost control, mounted a verge, flipped over and hit a lamppost, Teesside Crown court heard.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the car "spun violently" for a further 30 metres and smashed through a fence before coming to rest in a hedge.

Earlier, Bennett's passenger, Callum McPartland, 20, assaulted the driver of another vehicle after the two cars collided and stopped.

Neither McPartland nor Bennett were hurt in the dramatic smash, but the driver fell unconscious for two hours because of his drugs.

He told paramedics he had been on a four-day bender, and when he arrived at hospital he became drowsy and then passed out.

His solicitor John Nixon told the court today (Tuesday): "Thankfully, it was more by luck than good judgement no injuries were sustained."

Bennett, of Vulcan Way, Thornaby, near Stockton, had been out of prison for just three months before the incident, the court heard.

He admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving while unfit through drugs, having no insurance and no licence, and was jailed for 20 months.

Judge George Moorhouse also banned him from the roads for three tears, and told him: "You had no regard for other road users."

McPartland, of Scott Road, Middlesbrough, admitted assault and allowing himself to be carried in a car taken without authority.

The former Middlesbrough football trainee was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence at an earlier hearing.

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