A DANGER driver lost control of his uninsured pick-up truck and ploughed head-on into a tree during a police pursuit, a court heard yesterday (Thursday, July 31).

Alexander Hickson raced through residential streets in Darlington at up to 90mph - forcing other motorists to swerve out of the way.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court described Hickson's driving on May 31 as "completely reckless" and "extremely dangerous"

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Recorder Tim Gittins said it was a miracle no pedestrians were knocked down and killed and that Hickson was not badly hurt.

The five-minute chase ended when the 23-year-old's Ford Ranger mounted a pavement in Haughton Road and smashed into a tree.

Prosecutor Deborah Smithies said Hickson tried to escape through the driver's side window, but was detained at the scene by police.

In interview, he said his driving had been stupid, accepted he could have killed someone and expressed regret, said Miss Smithies.

Kieran Rainey, mitigating, said the father-of-two, of King William Street, Darlington, was usually respectful, polite and courteous.

"At the time, he was not thinking clearly at all," said Mr Rainey. "He thanks god that he didn't actually cause any damage to anyone.

"It can only be hoped by the court, the police and the people of Darlington that this arrest makes him think about how he responds in the future."

Hickson admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without insurance and otherwise in accordance with a licence.

Police were looking out for his distinctive two-tone vehicle because they had heard that the provisional licence-holder was behind the wheel.

It was followed from Geneva Road into Harris Street and along Yarm Road before speeding past the Red Hall estate at 90mph.

Mr Recorder Gittins told Hickson: "It is about time you grew up and accepted responsibilities you have towards your family."

Hickson was banned from the roads for two years, given a six-month suspended jail term, ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid community work and out on a four-month tagged curfew from 9pm to 6am.