A MAN was involved in a dangerous driving incident with a car driven by his own long-term partner, damaging both, a court heard.

Craig Bown was said to have been in a relationship with the woman, the owner of a late-night Hartlepool bar, for 18 years.

Durham Crown Court was told in the early hours of Saturday April 27, after closing the bar, she drove three staff members home.

Having dropped off two, she was on the A1086 Coast Road, to take the last, a doorman, home to Horden.

Steven Reed, prosecuting, said as she was driving through Blackhall, she became aware of another Mercedes, also owned by her, but lawfully driven by Bown, in the opposite carriageway.

Mr Reed said Bown had sent her a message asking where she was, to which she replied that she was taking staff members home.

The Mercedes driven by Bown pulled in front of his partner’s car and slammed on the brakes, forcing her to make an emergency stop, before he tried to drag the doorman from the front passenger seat.

Although his partner managed to drive away, Bown tailgated her, at one point coming into contact with her car, causing damage to both, which he later repaired.

Mr Reed said she dropped off the doorman, in Sunderland Road, Horden, and he ran off, chased by Bown, shouting threats that he would kill him.

Police were called and arrested Bown at 5.45am. He gave a positive breath test for alcohol.

Mr Reed said as Bown was on licence from a ten-year jail sentence for sex offences, imposed in 2010, he was recalled to prison to serve the rest of the full term.

The 45-year-old defendant, of Cranswick Close, Billingham, admitted dangerous driving, common assault and driving with excess alcohol.

Paul Cleasby, mitigating, told the court Bown is not due for release on licence until June 26 next year and any sentence imposed for the latest offences would, probably, be served prior to that date.

Judge Christopher Prince said it was highly dangerous, deliberate driving, endangering those in the other car.

He passed a 12-month prison sentence for dangerous driving, with a month each for the other two offences, to run concurrently.

But, to mark Bown’s guilty pleas, he reduced the overall sentence by three months.

Bown was also banned from driving for two years and four months.

Both his partner and the doorman are now to be asked about the desirability of restraining orders being put in place to prohibit Bown from contacting or approaching them.