A BANNED motorist drove at, “grossly excessive speeds, with a complete disregard” for other road users, in a bid to escape capture by police, a court heard.

Orrin John Clennell successfully fled police patrol drivers, before abandoning his BMW minutes later, but he was only at liberty for a short time.

Durham Crown Court was told police went to his home an hour later and found him hiding naked, soaked through, under a bed in a child’s bedroom.

Although he initially claimed he had just had a bath and denied having been driving the BMW, the 29-year-old defendant, of Coldstream, in Ouston, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police and driving without insurance when he appeared before magistrates, two days later.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said Clennell was banned from driving for a year after being convicted of driving without due care and attention as well as without insurance, in August last year.

But, early on the evening of June 22, police in Chester-le-Street, who were seeking the defendant over other matters, heard he had been seen in his BMW in a street in nearby Great Lumley.

Officers went to the street to attempt to detain him, but he drove off at such speed they were unable to turn and follow him in time.

Miss Lamballe said as another officer drove towards Great Lumley on a back lane, the BMW passed in the opposite direction at an estimated 95-miles per hour on what is a 30-limit road.

Clennell was seen performing dangerous overtaking manoeuvres when vehicles were approaching in the opposite direction.

As police tried to catch up with him pedestrians and other road users were pointing the direction in which he was heading.

Despite exceeding the speed limit, the police vehicles were unable to catch up with the BMW, which was last seen driving over a roundabout in the Castle Dene area.

Miss Lamballe said less than three minutes after the first report of Clennell being in Great Lumley, his abandoned BMW was found in Salisbury Close at the other end of the village.

The court heard he has 27 convictions for 38 offences, some for previous driving matters.

Andrew Finlay, mitigating, said Clennell merely did not want to be detained by police and so drove away at speed, but the entire episode was over in a short time.

Jailing him for 14 months, with a 30-month driving ban, Judge Christopher Prince told Clennell: “You drove off at a grossly excessive speed with a complete disregard for the safety of other road users”.

The judge said it would not be unjust or disproportionate to make a forfeiture order for the car, said by Clennell to be worth £1,500.