A DANGEROUS driver risked the lives of police officers and himself during a high-speed early hours chase, last month, a court heard.

Stephen McCabe eventually drove into a police vehicle, placed to block the road at a roundabout, as he was unable to brake in time due to the speed he was travelling.

But, Newcastle Crown Court was told that although the patrol car was written off, on impact, the officer occupying the vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said, earlier, a police report was circulated asking patrol officers to look out for a potentially stolen vehicle, a Mini Cooper, in the early hours of Thursday July 2.

A police driver stationary at the side of the A184 Felling Bypass saw it drive past at about 3am and followed.

Mr Perks said after the blue flashing lights of the police vehicle were illuminated the Mini accelerated to 100-miles-per-hour on a section of road with a temporary 40-limit.

The Mini also overtook and undertook several vehicles.

Mr Perks said other officers were alerted further along the A184 and police vehicles were stationed on a roundabout to prevent McCabe using it to head back in the direction he has just travelled.

“But the defendant was going far too fast, despite trying to brake, and the Mini collided with a stationary police vehicle on the roundabout.”

Mr Perks said the constable occupying the vehicle was fortunate to escape with minor injuries, despite his vehicle being left a write-off.

McCabe was arrested and taken to hospital for treatment for his own injuries.

The 33-year-old, of St Barnabas Way, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

Mr Perks told the court he has previous offences on his record for careless driving and drug driving, in 2015, and driving while disqualified, for which he received a 12-week prison sentence in May, 2016.

Tony Cornberg, mitigating, said the offence took place in the wake of a memorial held a year after the death of McCabe’s partner, which happened when he was in custody.

Mr Cornberg said McCabe dealt with the grieving process by turning to drugs and drink, and for which he has received counselling.

But Mr Cornberg said McCabe now hopes to put his drug use behind him and, in his own words, wants to, “be a normal person” and find work, when released from prison.

Recorder Tony Kelbrick told McCabe: “It must have been obvious to you that a police officer was blocking the road and other vehicles had their blue lights flashing.

“But you, in your desire to get away, were driving so fast you couldn’t stop.

“Luckily for you, you and that officer were only slightly injured.

“Your actions could easily have killed others, and, indeed, yourself.”

Imposing a 12-month prison sentence he also banned McCabe from driving for three years.