A BANNED driver who took police on a lengthy high-speed chase while high on cocaine hit a police dog with the car as he attempted to evade capture.

Jason Hackett drove off when police ordered him to pull over as he was driving along Durham Road, Stockton.

What happened next was branded an 'absolutely appalling piece of driving' when he was sentenced in Teesside Crown Court.

The 27-year-old raced through red lights, drove around roundabouts on the wrong side of the road and reached speeds in excess of 81 mph.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said the deployment of a Stinger didn't immediately bring the Vauxhall Astra to a halt but eventually the tyre came off the rim and the car ground to stop.

He told the court how at one point Hackett slowed down and opened the car door, which was when the police dog was released, before driving off again and causing minor injuries to the dog.

Hackett, of High Newham Road, Hardwick, Stockton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, criminal damage to the police dog, failing to provide a specimen and possession of a bladed article.

Nicci Horton, in mitigation, said: "It's a shocking piece of driving and Mr Hackett's record for driving offences is less than impressive."

She told the court how Hackett had suffered with mental health problems in the past and was receiving treatment for his condition but accepted it didn't justify his offending.

Recorder Nathan Adams told Hackett that his behaviour on this occasion was "wholly unacceptable".

He said: "This was an absolutely appalling piece of driving.

"These sentences will keep getting longer until the point comes across you are not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and you are not to act in this manner."

He was sentenced to 20 months in jail and banned from driving for 68 months.