A YOUNG motorist who had taken cocaine panicked on seeing police while at the wheel of a car in the early hours, a court was told.

Jordan Stoker was in his Vauxhall Astra with up to three passengers, when officers in a patrol vehicle spotted him passing in Church Street, Shildon, at 1.15am on February 18, last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that when the police car lights and siren were activated, Stoker drove away at speed, turning right at a road junction without stopping.

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Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said Stoker reach 80-mph in a 30-limit area, and the police vehicle exceeded 100-mph trying to keep up with the Astra on the A689.

The Astra went the wrong way round a roundabout, shot straight over at junctions, and occasionally appeared to lose control, narrowly missing an oncoming car as he was overtaking.

But the chase came ended when Stoker pulled up and was seen getting out of the car, before being arrested, on Hackworth Industrial Estate.

Mr Sabiston said Stoker gave a positive test for cocaine, three times over the legal limit for driving.

Stoker, of Lambton Street, Shildon, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving without insurance and while over the prescribed limit for drugs.

Appearing in court on his 22nd birthday, Stoker, who has no previous convictions, was said to be highly remorseful for his actions.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said the defendant had taken cocaine and rowed with his girlfriend.

“He acknowledges he did not stop, but he was driving purely out of fear having taken some cocaine.

“That was all that was going through his mind.”

Having read several character references Judge Simon Hickey said he was prepared to “take a chance”.

He deferred sentence for three months, but told Stoker he must stay out of trouble, steer clear of drugs, remain in work and save £400 to meet the prosecution costs in the case, by the time he returns to court, on July 21.

Stoker was also immediately banned from driving.