A JUDGE has asked prosecutors to consider whether a more serious charge should be brought against a dangerous driver who narrowly missed hitting a police officer during a high-speed chase.

Uninsured motorist Robert Philips, a provisional driving licence holder, was the sole occupant at the wheel of his mother’s Vauxhall Vectra, taken without her knowledge, early on March 11.

Durham Crown Court was told the Vectra came to the attention of police patrol officers due to the hesitant manner it left a junction from Shildon Industrial Estate, shortly after 3am.

The car accelerated and the police vehicle’s blue flashing lights, indicating for the driver to pull over, were ignored by Philips as he headed at speed down the A68, turning onto the A6072 Redworth Road, near Heighington.

Chris Wood, prosecuting, said an officer in the police vehicle radioed ahead and a colleague was waiting at a roundabout further along the road, placing a tyre-deflating strip across the carriageway with another constable.

As Philips approached, the Vectra skirted to the side of the officer laying the ‘stinger’, narrowly missing him, before taking the roundabout in the wrong direction.

The chase ended back in Shildon, when Philips abandoned the car and was eventually detained with use of pepper spray, having tried to hide in undergrowth.

Philips, 21, of Beech Terrace, Eldon Lane, admitted driving dangerously, without insurance and a full licence.

But, having seen slightly unclear footage from a police helicopter, Judge Christopher Prince said there may be scope to bring a more serious charge against the defendant, if it was thought he deliberately endangered the officer laying the ‘stinger’.

He asked for the Crown to speak again to the officers involved and for careful analysis to be made of the evidence before any decision is taken over the charge.

Philips, previously on bail, was remanded in custody by Judge Prince, who told him he would be receiving a custodial sentence whatever the charging decision. The case was adjourned until May 3.