A BANNED driver who accelerated when police signalled for him to stop has been jailed.

Curtis Crighton was driving an uninsured Vauxhall Astra on Burnhill Way, in Newton Aycliffe, when an officer spotted him and switched on the patrol car’s blue lights.

However instead of pulling over, Crighton accelerated and led the police on a chase which ended on a field behind a nearby pub.

Clare Irvine, prosecuting, said: “On November 3 at approximately 3.30pm an officer saw the defendant and illuminated the blue lights indicating for him to stop, he failed to stop and accelerated away and a pursuit followed onto Woodham Way and then onto Pemberton Road.

“When he stopped his car a short pursuit followed on foot.

“The officer describes the defendant’s driving as careless, he said when he approached the roundabout he braked so hard the brake lights started to flash.

“He was driving at 60mph and at times on the opposite side of the road and eventually into the Huntsman car park where he drove off-road and onto the wet grass, slowing down to 10mph.”

Crighton, of Regent Street, Shildon was banned from driving in March this year until December 8, 2020.

John Clish, mitigating, said: “He has been recalled, or he is being recalled back to prison.

“He fully admitted matters to police and gave a full and frank interview.

“It’s correct that he did not stop when he was required by the officer and it went on for longer than it should have done.

“Thankfully he did have the sense to stop, it appears as though he did eventually come to his senses and park up where he is then detained on foot.

“Thankfully it did not go on for as long as it could have.”

Crighton, 31, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, failing to stop, driving without insurance, driving without due care and attention on November 3 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to surrender to court bail on November 21.

Chair of the bench, Peter Wilson, said: “For the driving whilst disqualified, which is aggravated because of your disqualification and your previous offences, we are sentencing you to 56 days in custody.

“We are imposing a new disqualification for 24 months, including an extension for 33 days.

“With regards to the failure to stop there will be no separate penalty and for driving without insurance and driving without due care and attention there will be no separate penalty as it is included in the custodial sentence.”

Crighton was also ordered to pay a contribution towards court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £122.