A DRUNK who led police on a nine-mile chase whilst speeding on the wrong side of the road has been spared jail.

Ryan Nevison was followed by officers from Middlesbrough to Redcar after he stole his mother’s car in May this year.

The 27-year-old weaved across carriageways, drove the wrong way around roundabouts and reached speeds of up to 60mph in 30mph zones.

But Teesside Crown Court heard Nevison, who suffers from depression, “self medicated with alcohol” as a coping mechanism after his partner left him and his young daughter was taken away.

Handing him a suspended sentence, Judge Peter Armstrong said: “Over the last five years you stayed out of trouble. At the time of these offences you had a background of having longterm depression and were self medicating with alcohol which we all know is the wrong treatment for depression.

“A number of events happened in your life which clearly upset you and you were foolish enough to take your mother’s car. You were followed by police and the chase went from Middlesbrough to Redcar.

“Fortunately you were not killed or injured and neither was anyone else. That the sort of thing that can happen when driving like you did. It is fortunate for you no one was injured.”

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said Nevison turned up at his mother and stepfather’s house when drunk and took the family car he was told to leave.

Nevison then led police on a nine-mile chase from Middlesbrough to Redcar during which he weaved across carriageways, drove the wrong way round roundabouts and speed along 30mph zones twice the speed.

When he was eventually stopped he refused to provide a breath specimen and it was discovered he was driving without insurance.

But the court heard in the lead up to the incident Nevison was struggling to come to terms with the breakdown of his relationship after his young daughter was taken away. It was later revealed he was suffering from depression and turned to drink as a coping mechanism - but is in the process of treatment to help deal with his addiction.

Nevison, of Egerton Street, Middlesbrough, was handed a six month sentence suspended for two years, ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days. He was also placed under a restraining order relating to his mother and stepfather and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence, failing to provide a specimen and failing to stop.