A SENIOR police officer has praised the team effort which helped to put a dangerous teenage driver behind bars.

Connor Dodds was sentenced to 12-months in a young offenders’ institution at Durham Crown Court, sitting at Newcastle, on Tuesday.

The court heard police first came across a Volkswagen Bora travelling at high speed on Acre Rigg Road, Peterlee, on the afternoon of April 28.

Nineteeen-year-old Dodds, who was at the wheel, failed to stop for the pursuing police patrol, so the officers pursued the Bora on its haphazard journey through Peterlee and Easington.

During the chase, the vehicle drove well in excess of the speed limit, on the wrong side of the road, across a playground and over fields where members of the public were walking their dogs.

Members of the response team worked with traffic officers from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU), the force bike section and Peterlee CID, which resulted in the vehicle eventually being stopped with deployment of a ‘stinger’ tyre-deflating device, in Easington.

Two young men ran from the vehicle but were detained and taken into custody at Peterlee Police Station.

Dodds, of Johnson Close, Peterlee, was charged with dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

He was remanded in custody and, appearing before magistrates later that week, via videolink from Durham Prison, he admitted the offences.

Sentence was adjourned to the crown court, where Judge Ray Singh imposed the 12-month custodial sentence and banned Dodds from driving for three-and-a-half years, with a £149 court surcharge.

Inspector, Joanne Malkin, of the Peterlee response team, described the operation to stop Dodds in his tracks as, “A great bit of teamwork from all departments, including response, CID and the roads policing unit, who have worked together to take a dangerous driver off the road.”

She added: “We will not tolerate drivers who think they can flout the rules of the road and take advantage of the quieter roads during lockdown.”

The 24-year-old man who was believed to have been the passenger in the car was released under investigation while inquiries continued.