A MAN has been handed a six-month prison sentence for a string of offences including assaulting his ex partner in front of her two young children and dangerous drug driving.

John Anthony James Lawson appeared at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday was told the offences he committed on two separate occasions in February and September last year were too serious to leave Judge Sarah Mallett any other option.

The court heard how Lawson had demanded entry to his ex partner's Gateshead home, in the early hours of February 24 and when he was refused had sent her threatening texts and phone calls.

He returned drunk at about 8am and stormed into the home, grabbing the victim by her pyjama top and "ragging her around" to get her car keys.

John Harley said the incident was witnessed by the victim's two young children who were distressed by the incident before Lawson drove off.

The police later arrested Lawson at another address but he resisted. When he was eventually put into a police van he also kicked the door so hard that it injured one of the officer's hands.

Whilst waiting to be sentenced for those offences, Lawson then committee more on September 29, 2018, when he was driving a black Audi and failed to stop for police, in Leadgate, near Consett.

Mr Harley said the banned driver hit speeds of up to 80mph in built up areas and narrowly avoided a pedestrian who had to "jump out of the way" to avoid being ran over.

He was arrested at a house nearby after dumping the car and pretending he had been in bed all along. He was tested positive for cocaine.

Lawson was due to go on trial for several of the offences and admitted lesser charges on the day the trial was due to start.

The 29-year-old, of East Street, Grange Villa, near Chester-le-Street, pleaded guilty to charges including driving whilst disqualified, common assault, drink driving, drug driving, resisting and assaulting two separate police officers, driving without due care and attention and having no insurance. He also breached a suspended sentence order.

Rachel Hedworth, mitigating, said her client had spent a considerable amount of time in prison while waiting to be sentenced and had only been released a few weeks ago.

She said he had trained to be a plasterer in prison and has moved away from Gateshead and started a new relationship with a psychological therapist, who was present at court.

Judge Mallet imposed the maximum six-month prison sentence but said it was likely he would be released immediately considering his time already served. She also banned him from driving for three years and 11 weeks and imposed a two-year restraining order for his ex partner and fined him £100 for breaching his suspended sentence.