A DRIVER involved in a police chase made a “cheeky” attempt to evade responsibility, a court heard.

Rhys Stobbart ran into a house after ditching the car used in the high-speed pursuit and, when police came calling, denied being the driver involved.

Durham Crown Court heard that Stobbart was arrested at the address in Conyers Terrace, Chester-le-Street, following the chase, on July 12, 2019.

The court was told despite being banned from driving, he had been at the wheel of a Vauxhall Vectra, pursued by police from Hett Hills, near Chester-le-Street, ending in the South Pelaw area.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said when police called at the address, he was found wearing the same clothes and bearing scratch marks from the earlier incident.

The 26-year-old defendant, of Orwell Gardens, Stanley, initially denied dangerous driving and driving while disqualified, but later admitted the offences, having heard of identification evidence of him entering the address in which he was found.

Judge James Adkin deferred sentence on Stobbart in December, having heard he has mental health issues, but was keen to address them and to take up a job prospect.

Shaun Routledge, for the defendant, said he has “let people down and come up short” in the past, but has, “tried his best” to respond to the opportunity afforded him by the judge.

Mr Routledge said Stobbart is now working, starting early each morning and doing long hours, six days a week.

Judge James Adkin said his initial thought was to pass a custodial sentence, for what he described as, “this cheeky offence, going into someone else’s house”.

But he added that as the defendant has made efforts, “to better himself” he could suspend the 12-month prison sentence for two years, during which he must attend 30 probation activity days.

Stobbart was also banned from driving for a year.