Two men convicted in cases of domestic violence and two dangerous drivers are among the defendants jailed at Durham Crown Court in the past week.

Michael Robert Johnson, 31, of West Moor Road, Darlington

Johnson received a 25-month prison sentence after admitting assaulting a former partner, causing her actual bodily harm, and breaching a restraining order forbidding him from contacting or approaching her.

The court heard that having breached a six-year restraining order by staying at the woman’s home address for a fortnight, last November, at a time he claimed to be suffering with mental health issues, he carried out a drink and drug-fuelled attack on her as she drove him home from a friend’s address, in the early hours of November 21.

It culminated on her stopping the car in Newton Aycliffe and getting out, whereupon Johnston dragged her to the ground by her hair, choked her to the point she felt she was becoming unconscious and banged her head off the ground, before also biting her ear.

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Paul Abrahams, in mitigation, said Johnston has worked hard while on remand in prison to complete courses to address his anger management, drink and drug intake, and his stress and anxiety issues.

Shane Newman, 34, of Braunspath Estate, New Brancepeth

Newman received a 30-month prison sentence after being found guilty at a trial before magistrates recently of assault causing actual bodily harm, assaulting the same woman by beating, making threats to kill her and causing criminal damage to three of her mobile phones.

Judge Ray Singh also made him subject of a five-year restraining order prohibiting contacting or approaching the victim, at the crown court sentencing hearing, on Wednesday.

Liam Bainbridge, 28, of Trent Street, Easington Lane

Bainbridge had previously admitted the alternative of inflicting grievous bodily harm, plus dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

It related to him causing a passenger in the Ford Kuga he was driving serious head injuries by ramming the vehicle into a fence in Quilstyle Road, Wheatley Hill, on February 19 this year.

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Judge James Adkin told Bainbridge: “You were essentially having a temper tantrum as things were not going your way that evening.

Imposing a 32-month prison sentence, Judge James Adkin told Bainbridge: “You were essentially having a temper tantrum as things were not going your way that evening.”

He also banned Bainbridge from driving for a further 28 months.

Cory-lee Gibson, 21, previously of Stileford, Gateshead

Gisbon received a 17-month sentence after admitting dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance, plus fraudulent use of a registration plate.

It follows a police pursuit of a Volkswagen Passat, bearing a cloned registration plate, from Nevilles Cross, Durham, to Thinford, on the A167, in mid-afternoon on September 10, last year.

During the nine-minute chase the defendant, who has a previous conviction for dangerous driving on the Tyne Bridge, from 2020, travelled at up to 80-miles per hour on 40-limit stretches of road, went through red lights, took a roundabout in the wrong direction and failed to stop after colliding with another car.

He eventually did stop near the junction at Thinford where he was arrested.

Judge Adkin told him he drove at, “grossly excessive speeds”, putting other road users and nearby pedestrians at serious risk of injury or even death.

As part of the sentence, the judge also made a deprivation order for the VW Passat driven by Gibson.

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