A DANGEROUS driver who was caught twice in two months has been spared jail after managing to stay out of trouble for six months.

Karl McCabe, from Middlesbrough, had cocaine in his system when he was caught driving at speeds of up to 60mph in residential streets, at times on the wrong side of road.

However, in February, a judge deferred sentence in his case due to “exceptional circumstances”, giving the 28-year-old a chance to prove he could stay out of trouble.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, told the court McCabe, of Rokeby Avenue, Middlesbrough, had committed no further offences in the six months since his sentence was deferred.

McCabe was caught in February 2019 driving at speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone in Trimdon Avenue, at one point driving on the wrong side of the road, taking corners at speed and mounting the pavement.

He was found to have three types of drug in his system, Teesside Crown Court heard.

In a second incident, in April 2019, he was also seen driving in Trimdon Avenue, with witnesses reporting speeds of up to 80mph.

On that occasion, he struck an Audi, causing the driver to be thrown forward, striking her head and causing £2,000 worth of damage.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of dangerous driving and two counts of driving whilst disqualified.

He also admitted three offences of driving while over the prescribed limit for drugs and two charges of driving with no insurance.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said McCabe had a "terrible" drug problem and in the last six months had asked numerous agencies for help, attending a domestic violence course and contacting addiction service Recovery Connections.

He said: "He is doing what he can to get rid of this terrible habit which has been at the root of his offending."

Sentencing was deferred due to "exceptional" circumstances, which included his twins being born with severe medical conditions, which they were not expected to survive, the fact he was the main carer for his mother and that he had already spent the equivalent of seven months in prison on remand.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said: "I will keep my word and pass an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years."

He added: "You have shown the ability to stay out of trouble which has allowed me to say you won't go into custody.

"There has to be some punishment and you will do unpaid work for the benefit of the community.

"You are not out of the woods yet. If you do not commit any further offences and do the unpaid work we can draw a line under this. But if you fall down in respect of either you will be back to square one and will be going back to prison."

He had previously been banned for driving for four years and will have to pass an extended driving test before he is allowed back behind the wheel.

He will also have to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.