A MOTORIST being pursued by police rammed a patrol car and clipped two others as officers tried to “box in” his vehicle while travelling at speed on the A1(M).

Durham Crown Court heard the deliberate collision caused £5,000 worth of damage to the police vehicle and two others suffered lesser damage, but it brought to a halt a 22-minute chase of the Jeep Cherokee, driven by Michael Raine, either side of 4am on June 14 last year.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said concern was raised with police about Raine that morning as he had threatened self-harm.

Police were looking for him to make, “a welfare check”, and an officer on mobile patrol came across the vehicle containing Raine in a lay-by on the A181 near Thornley, County Durham, at 3.50am.

As the officer pulled into the lay-by ahead of Raine’s vehicle, the defendant reversed and drove away.

The officer, therefore, illuminated his flashing lights and siren in pursuit of Raine.

Reaching Shincliffe, Raine’s speed was 45-mph in a 30-limit area and heading into Durham he passed through red lights at 55 and 50-mph and swerved into the opposite carriageway to avoid a police-deployed stinger device.

He then turned northbound onto the A1(M) where he swerved across lanes and onto the hard shoulder.

Mr Pettengell said three police vehicles attempted the “box in” detaining manoeuvre, during which Raine rammed the patrol car in front, before colliding with the other two.

Raine, 38, of Imeary Street, South Shields, admitted dangerous driving.

Jennifer Coxon, mitigating, said the incident came after Raine, who has had mental health issues, rowed with two family members and took an overdose of insulin.

She said when police came to check on him in the lay-by, “his judgement was clouded”, even though up to that point he had not committed any offences.

“He can only apologise to other road users at the time over the manner of his driving,” she added.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Raine: “You put the lives of those police officers, other road users and yourself, at risk, and all of that in wet road conditions.”

He imposed a 14-month prison sentence and banned Raine from driving for two years and seven months.