A MAN who took police on two high speed pursuits in less than two months has been given six-months to prove that he can turn his life around.

Karl McCabe was told that the only reason he was being spared immediate custody was due to the ‘unusual and exceptional’ circumstances he found himself in last year.

Judge Stephen Ashurst heard how McCabe and his wife’s twins were born with severe medical conditions, which they were not expected to survive, and his mother had a stroke.

The 28-year-old was caught doing speeds of up to 60mph in a residential area of Middlesbrough when police spotted him behind the wheel of a Nissan Qashquai on February 20 last year.

McCabe sped away from officers but the car was later found abandoned and he was arrested about half a mile away. It was discovered that he had cocaine and cannabis in his system.

Vicki Lamballe, prosecuting, said he was again spotted driving in the Acklam area of the town by police on April 16 before speeding off in a Vauxhall Insignia. Witnesses saw the driver reach speeds of 80mph before he crashed into the rear of an Audi TT causing more than £2,000 worth of damage.

McCabe, of Wardale Avenue, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving under the influence of prohibited drugs, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance to the offence in February.

He also pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and driving without insurance for the matters in April.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said his client’s driving was ‘inexcusable’ but his life was in ‘turmoil’ at the time due to the illness of his twins and mother.

He said: “He thought he would go to prison if he was stopped by the police and that is now a real possibility. These offences were committed when his life was in absolute turmoil.”

Judge Ashurst agreed to defer McCabe's sentence until August 10 to give him a chance to prove himself.

“You drove on both of these occasions when you should not have been on the road and you drive with reckless disregard for other road users at the time.

"On the first time you had been taking drugs and were in no fit state to drive. In the other incident you stuck another vehicle and the driver had to go to hospital to be checked for the discomfort caused by the shunt – it has left her anxious to drive," he said.

"I stated that this is an unusual case where your personal mitigation is strong but your driving was very bad and I have to carry out a balancing act. I'm going to defer sentence for six months.

"If you commit no further offences, you will not go to prison."

He added: "This is a very unusual and exceptional step I'm taking with you – do not let me down otherwise you know what will happen."