A JAILED dangerous driver’s freedom bid was short-lived thanks to court security staff, dock officers and a police officer in the building for another case.

On hearing he was being jailed for ten months at Durham Crown Court, Joshua Maas scaled the perspex surrounds of the Court One dock and made for the exit.

But the agile 24-year-old was stopped in his tracks by a member of the court door staff who grabbed hold of the would-be escapee, assisted by a colleague.

They were joined by dock officers and the police officer in detaining the defendant.

He was then led to the cells in Court One, where he was destined to be detained minutes earlier after being sentenced.

Following the commotion, Judge James Adkin told Crown counsel Helen Towers and Vic Laffey, for the defendant, that he would not have Maas brought back into court.

But he adjourned to allow the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether it plans to bring a further charge of attempting to escape from lawful custody, a decision to be given to the court today.

Maas, of Bamford Terrace, Palmersville, North Tyneside, arrived at court on bail following his release from a previous dangerous driving jail sentence.

The court heard the offence for which he has now served his sentence was committed in the Northumbria force area, in March, four months after the offence for which he was being sentenced at Durham.

Miss Towers said the Durham offence was committed on November 29, when police tried to block him at a Consett filling station, where he was suspected of stealing petrol, at 11.30pm.

Maas reversed his Alfa Romeo, colliding with a lorry, a police vehicle and another car, before driving off at speed on the A692.

The court heard he undertook and overtook dangerously, reaching 101-miles per hour, on a 60-stretch, and 82 in a 30-zone.

Miss Towers said at Lobley Hill, Gateshead, Maas performed a handbrake turn and headed southwards on the northbound carriageway of the A1.

Such was the danger, the police pursuers chose not to proceed.

Maas was arrested after abandoning the car on the A1 and trying to make off on foot He was recognised by a police driver.

The court was told Maas, who admitted dangerous driving, has 30 convictions for 40 offences.

Mr Laffey said since his release from his last sentence, the Probation Service has acknowledged Maas has made improvements in his life, adding: “It would be a great shame if that progress was disturbed.”

But Judge Adkin said his driving in this case, “beggars belief”, adding: “It’s difficult to think of a more dangerous situation in which to put yourself, your passenger and other members of the public, than driving the wrong way down the A1,”

It was shortly after Judge Adkin imposed the 10-month prison sentence, with a two-year driving ban, that Maas made his brief flight for freedom.