A BNP activist and former teacher who drove after three boys on bikes who he believed had been cheeky to him avoided a jail sentence yesterday.

Adam Walker pursued the terrified boys in a Land Rover 4X4, coming within yards of a collision.

And when they fled on foot he slashed all the tyres of their abandoned bicycles with a craft knife, Durham Crown Court heard.

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He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, after he admitted dangerous driving and possessing a bladed instrument.

Walker, described as a BNP staff manager, whose duties included duties for a BNP member of the European Parliament, was also banned from driving for 12 months.

But, in passing sentence, Recorder Ben Nolan said he hoped Walker would not lose his job with the party.

Recorder Nolan said: “This was a crazy thing to do.

“You obviously had a rush of blood to the head and I accept that to some extent you were provoked by these boys, but they were only boys, children.

“And what you did was extremely dangerous.”

Amanda Rippon, prosecuting, said the incident followed a St George’s Day march in Spennymoor , County Durham, in April, last year.

The boys, aged from ten to 12, had been “ticked off” earlier over their use of a bouncy castle outside the Green Tree pub, in nearby Tudhoe.

When they saw Walker, 43, removing bunting from his car with a Stanley knife they verbally abused him, wrongly thinking he was coming to chase them away again.

Walker set off after them and at one point drove his Land Rover over the length of the village green, behind one of the boys.

Lloyd Morgan, mitigating, said apart from an eight-year-old conviction for drinkdriving, Walker was of good character, “having shown commitment not just to the community, but to the country”.

He added: “He is someone who has thoroughly learnt his lesson.”

The court heard that he faces a hearing before a BNP investigative committee later this month and could be suspended from his post.

Recorder Nolan said: “I clearly hope that your employers continue to value your good work as they have in the past and that they regard this episode as an utter aberration.”

Walker, of Winchester Court, Spennymoor, also admitted a public order offence and three counts of criminal damage. He was ordered to pay compensation of £142 to the boys.