A MAN involved in a lengthy night-time driving police chase had, “no intention whatsoever” to stop when signalled to do so, a court was told.

David Stewart drove his mother’s Mercedes ML320 at high speeds and almost caused oncoming cars to collide, despite the sparse traffic in the early hours of November 25.

Durham Crown Court heard that the 13-minute chase from Spennymoor to Deaf Hill, near Wingate, involved five police vehicles, some of which were scratched and dented.

Damian Broadbent, prosecuting, said Stewart cut corners, took bends blind, went the wrong way around a roundabout and weaved across lanes to prevent police from overtaking.

He reached speeds of up to 100-miles per hour but still travelled at up to 40-mph after driving over a police-laid ‘stinger’ device, causing all four of his tyres to deflate.

As the chase reached a conclusion on a residential estate all four tyres flew off leaving Stewart struggling to control the vehicle.

The Mercedes eventually came to a stop and Stewart was arrested, as were two rear seat passengers.

Stewart gave a positive reading for the presence of cocaine, while on his own admission he had also taken four pregabalin tablets.

The 31-year-old defendant, of Swainby Road, Trimdon Village, admitted dangerous driving and failing to stop for police when he appeared before magistrates the following day.

His past convictions feature mostly motoring matters, which has led to him being banned three times in the past seven years.

Jane Waugh, mitigating, said: “On the face of it there was no reason for him to drive off”.

But she told the court it was due to fear of his two, “intimidating” passengers urging him to keep driving.

“He accepts he drove a long distance, but it was in fear and panic at the time, and he acknowledges he wasn’t thinking straight.”

Judge Ray Singh said the fact he had drugs on his system may have been the motivation to evade police.

Imposing a ten-month prison sentence, Judge Singh told Stewart: “You became involved in a serious and sustained piece of dangerous driving.

“There was no intention by you whatsoever to voluntarily cease that dangerous driving when you had the opportunity to do so.”

Stewart was also banned from driving for three years and five months.

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