A TEENAGER has admitted he was driving an Audi car which fled police at dangerous high speeds in the early hours of the morning.

Banned driver Rickie Rowell, then 17, told police at the time that a 15-year-old passenger was at the wheel of an Audi A3 in the pursuit in and around Bishop Auckland, on November 22, last year.

He denied dangerous driving, driving without insurance and while disqualified and was due to go on trial on Tuesday, next week.

But at a future trial review, staged to try to resolve forthcoming cases due to the large backlog of jury hearings caused by the Covid-crisis, his counsel, Chris Baker, asked for the charges to be put again to Rowell.

The now 18-year-old defendant changed his pleas to guilty to all three charges.

Asked for an indication of the likely sentence, by Mr Baker, Judge Ray Singh told him he would adjourn for the preparation of a background report on Rowell by the Probation Service.

Judge Singh said: “His previous response to supervision orders may not have been the best, so a lot will rest on how good that report is.

“If it’s a poor report and they feel there is nothing that can be done with him, then it will be prison.”

He adjourned the sentencing hearing for more than five weeks and bailed Rowell, of Hilton Road, Bishop Auckland, to return to learn his fate, on September 18.