A banned driver spotted at the wheel while driving at excessive speed almost hit binmen on their round during a subsequent police chase, a court heard.

Kyle James Watson was the only occupant of a Volkswagen Passat seen driving at speed on Hunwick Lane, near Willington, on August 11.

Durham Crown Court was told two police officers parked at the side of the road began to give chase and signalled for the Passat to stop as it approached Willington.

But Watson ignored the request and accelerated away, flouting a roundabout in making a turn, and colliding with a kerb, causing the Passat to slightly lift into the air.

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Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Watson headed down Landsdown Way, in Sunnybrow, where he turned onto the footpath to avoid hitting a bin wagon ahead, as its crew were collecting and emptying bins from nearby homes.

Watson eventually turned into Huntsgarth, but as it was a dead end, he came to a halt and ran off.

Appearing at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court he admitted dangerous driving, while disqualified, and without insurance, plus failing to stop for police.

The court was told it put the 29-year-old defendant, formerly of Toronto, near Bishop Auckland, but now said to be of no fixed address, in breach of a 14-month prison sentence, also for dangerous driving, plus handling stolen goods, imposed last November when he was also banned from the roads for a year.

Mr Dodds said that meant he was on licence following his release at the midway point of that sentence, when he became involved in the latest incident.

Warren Ridley, for Watson, told the court: “There’s little I can say by way of mitigation.

“He’s a young man with an appalling driving record.

“He has difficulty with illicit substances. When he takes drugs he generally drives a car and accepts he makes the wrong choices repeatedly.

“While in prison he hopes to avail himself with the services available in the hope he doesn’t repeat this offence, again.

“It’s aggravated by the fact he’s in breach of his post sentence supervision and licence.”

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The court heard Watson is already subject of an extended re-test should he wish to drive again legally when his period of disqualification ends.

Judge James Adkin told Watson: “On August 11 you were driving in County Durham and failed to stop for police.

“A short chase ensued when you were disqualified from driving by way of an order made in November 2021.

“You drove at excessive speed, clipped a kerb, flouted a roundabout and the harm is the risk of injury to the police officers and other road users in a chase like this.

“You have a bad record for driving while disqualified and, in these circumstances, an inevitable prison sentence will be passed because of the risk you present of driving dangerously and putting the public at risk.”

Imposing a ten-month prison sentence, Judge Adkin also banned Watson from driving for two years upon his release from prison, at the mid-point of his sentence.

A charge of aggravated vehicle taking, denied by Watson, was not pursued by the Crown and was “left on the file” by the judge.

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