A DRIVER under the influence of drugs travelled the wrong way down the A19 on only three inflated tyres during a police chase.

The police helicopter joined several patrol cars in the late-night pursuit of a Renault Modus driven by defendant David Rubery.

Durham Crown Court heard a Stinger tyre-deflating device was laid to try to stop Dubery in his tracks, but not only did the Modus drive over the spiked mat, but also one of the patrol cars.

Umza Khan, prosecuting, said Rubery came to police attention when he flouted a red light at the A690 junction with Carrville High Street, at 11.10pm, on January 15.

Rubery ignored requests to stop and accelerated to 100-miles per hour on the A690 at Rainton Gate, where the speed limit is 50.

Having left the A690, Rubery continued at speed approaching Murton, where the Stinger was deployed.

Miss Khan said: “It punctured a tyre on the Renault, but also a tyre on a patrol car, which had to be withdrawn.”

The Modus carried on eastbound despite the deflated tyre and turned onto the A19 slip road heading in the wrong direction, forcing several drivers to swerve to avoid a collision.

Rubery eventually decamped at the roadside with the car still moving before colliding with a gate.

He was arrested and tested positive for illegal drugs in his system.

In interview, later, he presented a statement admitting driving dangerously, claiming he panicked on seeing the police vehicle.

Rubery, 25, of Kirkstone Close, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted dangerous driving, over the specified drug limit.

His 19 previous convictions include dangerous driving.

Jamie Adams, mitigating, told the court that Rubery, who has worked in the building trade, complied with police on arrest and agreed to the various substance tests.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Rubery that his driving was, “appalling”.

“You put both yourself and other road users at risk of serious injury.

“You drove at high speed, the wrong way around junctions, and the wrong way up a dual carriageway for more than two miles.

“This was at night, for a lot of the journey with no lights.

“All this while over the drugs limit.”

Imposing a 16-month prison sentence, Judge Carroll also banned Rubery from driving for 26 months, and also ordered confiscation of the Modus car used in the pursuit.