A WOMAN involved in a high-speed police chase abandoned her car after reversing dangerously towards an officer on foot.

Julie Ann Allen was at the wheel of a Peugeot 108 which came to police attention in the early hours of August 13 last year, due to its speed.

Durham Crown Court was told the blue lights and siren were activated on the police vehicle, but Allen refused to stop.

Matthew Hopkins, prosecuting, said over the following 20 minutes-plus the defendant drove in, “an aggressive manner”, at times on the wrong side of the road, reaching 90-miles per hour in 60-limit stretches of road.

She also drove through three sets of traffic lights, all on red, at about 50mph.

Allen turned into a housing estate in Stanley and a male passenger got out and ran off.

Mr Hopkins said one of the officers from the police vehicle tried to give chase on foot but had to take swift evasive action when the Peugeot was reversed at speed in her direction.

The car chase then resumed, before Allen decamped, while the Peugeot was still moving, carrying on down the street, almost hitting a police vehicle, before coming to rest against a fence.

Allen ran off and the officers lost sight of her, but the court heard that both she and her previous male passenger were arrested shortly afterwards after summoning a taxi.

She tested positive for cannabis and cocaine in a roadside test, but no charges arose from that.

Mr Hopkins read a statement from the officer who was almost hit by Allen.

She said she felt a real sense of fear when she saw the car approaching her and she does not know how she was able to get out of the way without being struck.

The officer added that if the Peugeot collided with her she would have been seriously injured, “or worse”.

Allen, 25, of Spen Street, Stanley, admitted dangerous driving when she appeared before magistrates last month.

The court heard that she has a conviction from last October for careless driving, an offence committed prior to the police chase.

Kelly Sherif, representing the defendant, said at the time of the two driving incidents Allen was, “mixing with the wrong crowd” and during the chase she was “encouraged” to drive as she did by her male passenger.

“She tells me that in those circumstances, she just panicked.

“She knows what she did was wrong, but she was encouraged by the party sitting next to her in the car.”

Ms Sherif said the defendant works full time but does not earn enough to move from the home where she now lives.

She added that Allen has tried to “turn her life around” in recent months, joining a gym, earlier this year.

Recorder Paul Reid said had the case been heard several months ago he would have had, “no alternative”, but to impose an immediate prison sentence for the, “shocking” piece of driving.

“But, there has been a considerable gap in time since then and, from the reference written on your behalf by the gym owner, you have taken great steps to turn your life around.”

Read more: Chase driver deliberately drove on wrong side of road during police pursuit

Imposing a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, he ordered Allen to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work, and undergo 30 rehabilitation activity days with the Probation Service.

She was ordered to pay £340 court costs in the next six months, while she was also banned from driving for 18 months.

Allen must pass an extended test if she is ever to drive again, legally.

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