AN unlicensed teenage driver under the influence of drugs led police on an “absolutely horrific” high-speed chase in wet conditions, a court heard.

Grant MacLean, 19, was said to have put the lives of himself, his female passenger and other road-users at risk as he tried to evade a pursuing police vehicle, in Durham, shortly after 9am on Sunday December 2.

Durham Crown Court was told the police car reached 115-miles per hour trying to keep up with the Volkswagen Golf driven by MacLean on the A690 approaching Carrville interchange.

Chris Wood, prosecuting, said MacLean flouted red lights and pulled out “blind” from junctions, briefly stopping to drop off his passenger, before coming to a halt at a dead end on Renny’s Lane, Gilesgate.

He abandoned the car, fleeing on foot, but was soon caught and arrested.

Tests revealed cannabis and cocaine were in his system, with the former above the legal limit to drive.

Since the incident the now 20-year-old defendant received a community order with unpaid work for another dangerous driving police chase, in February.

David Callan, for MacLean, said he has no convictions other than the two cases of dangerous driving and engaged well in completing the community order.

MacLean, of Bluebell Way, South Shields, admitted dangerous driving.

Judge Christopher Prince said regardless of the outcome of the other case, he had to impose an immediate custodial sentence in this case due to the “absolutely horrific” manner of driving.

“I don’t know how the public can keep on relying on police officers to so bravely engage in pursuits of people acting as dangerously as you were on this occasion.”

Imposing a 12-month sentence in a young offenders’ institution he said he had to send a message to deter others from such driving. MacLean was also banned from driving for 33 months.