A banned young driver involved in a high-speed chase with police abandoned his vehicle with it still moving in a residential area.

The Audi A4 remained in “drive” mode, with the hand brake not applied, when Jack Oughton and a passenger “decamped” the vehicle, before it went on to collide with two parked cars.

Durham Crown Court heard that shortly before midnight, on May 6, the attention of officers in a marked police car at Rushyford on the A167 was drawn to the Audi, which had been reported stolen in the Hartlepool area earlier in the day.

Neil Jones, prosecuting, said as the officers began to follow the Audi its speed picked up, reaching 70-miles per hour in a 40-limit stretch of road, and then a section restricted to 30.

Read more: Driver abandoned car after police chase in County Durham

The officers were concerned as conditions were damp and slippery, making speeding potentially hazardous.

Oughton made sudden turns, narrowly missing oncoming traffic, and headed into residential streets of Chilton, with the Audi at times angling towards the footpath.

Mr Jones said the defendant and a passenger were seen getting out of the still moving car, without applying the hand brake, and it carried on, striking a Peugeot 208 and a Ford Kuga, each parked at the roadside, causing substantial damage to both.

He said the pursuit lasted about ten to 15 minutes and posed danger to other road users, with it being fortunate there were few pedestrians around due to the time of day.

When Oughton was apprehended he gave a positive roadside swipe test for cannabis and then refused to provide a blood test.

Read more: Four County Durham criminals hauled before Durham Crown Court last week

Mr Jones said Oughton has never passed a driving test and is only a provisional licence holder, while he was banned from driving at the time.

The 22-year-old defendant, of Whitworth Road, Chilton, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving while disqualified and without insurance, plus failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Mr Jones said Oughton has 19 convictions for 46 offences, most of them being motoring matters.

Amrit Jandoo, in mitigation, said the car was reported stolen by someone who was unhappy with its sale.

“He knew the purchaser of the car expressed dissatisfaction and instead of pulling over and explaining the car was not stolen he pulled away.

“It displays his level immaturity and impulsive behaviour.

“He’s not assisted by his record.

“It’s poor decision making that gets him into these problems.”

Mr Jandoo urged Judge Ray Singh to allow the defendant to work with the Probation Service to help him to avoid getting into further trouble in future.

But Judge Singh told Oughton: “I’m afraid you are no stranger to the courts.

“On that night you should not even have been driving that vehicle.”

“All you were concerned about was having fun and the thrill of trying to outrun the police officers.

“It’s perhaps the adrenaline rush. You have been doing it since you were a kid.

Despite the defendant’s claim he, “did not mean to do it”, Judge Singh told him: “Your history of convictions shows you to do mean to do it and you will continually disregard court orders.”

He imposed a 14-month prison sentence and banned Oughton from driving for three years and seven months.

Read next: 

                * Dangerous high-speed chase took place on busy roads in Peterlee

                * Durham man jailed for Range Rover police chase on A690

                * Chase driver deliberately drove on wrong side of road during police pursuit

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