AN unlicensed motorist who crashed during a police chase, killing a passenger and leaving another with ‘life-changing’ injuries, has admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Bradley Webb, who had taken amphetamines, was at the wheel of an unroadworthy Renault Megane, pursued by police from the A690 in Durham over the force boundary into the Northumbria Police area, in the early hours of Monday August 23.

He lost control of the vehicle on Dairy Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, and collided with a wall.

His two female passengers were both taken to hospital suffering serious injuries and he also received treatment.

Police confirmed one of the passengers, 52-year-old Paula Tiffin, died in hospital several days later.

On release from hospital, Webb was arrested and charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He admitted both at his first magistrates’ court appearance, as well as charges of no insurance, driving without a licence and failing to stop for police.

Webb appeared by video link from Durham Prison at a Newcastle Crown Court hearing yesterday, now also charged with causing death by dangerous driving, after Ms Tiffin’s death.

He pleaded guilty.

Lee Fish, prosecuting, said the Crown pitches the offence at the top of the range for death by dangerous driving, due to aggravating features in the case.

He said: “Not only was there an accident after a police chase where the car was driven dangerously, it was also in an unroadworthy condition.”

Mr Fish said toxicology tests show the defendant had amphetamines in his system at the time.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned to allow preparation of a probation report on the defendant, and for impact statements to be taken from Ms Tiffin’s family and from the other passenger, who the court was told suffered “life-changing injuries”.

Judge Prince remanded the 25-year-old defendant, of Queen Street, Hetton-le-Hole, in custody, and told him: “Obviously, you will be receiving a custodial sentence in due course. It’s just a case of how long that will be.”

Webb will be sentenced at the court on Monday December 13.

* As there was a fatality arising from a police pursuit the case has been referred for investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

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