A teenager is to be sentenced in the spring for what was described in court as, “an extremely serious case of dangerous driving”.

Connor Macleod, 18, was due to be sentenced at Durham Crown Court this week, after admitting charges of dangerous driving and driving without insurance when he appeared before magistrates in the county on January 10.

The crown court was told that the offences which Macleod admitted were committed only a day before his appearance at the magistrates’ court.

He was said to have been at the wheel of a silver Nissan Navara driven in a dangerous manner on the A689, A177 and Butterwick Road, in the Sedgefield and Fishburn areas, on Monday January 9.

Read more: Chester-le-Street banned driver risked activating suspended sentence

Macleod failed to stop for police on the A689 and drove in excess of 100-miles per hour at one stage in a 30-limit zone, before falling foul of a police-laid 'stinger' tyre deflation device in Trimdon.

When the case was called into crown court for the scheduled sentencing hearing, Recorder Paul Reid said he was concerned to have read in a recent GP report, forwarded to the court, of the defendant having been referred to a community mental health team.

“This is an extremely serious case of appalling dangerous driving without any mention, until now, of a mental health problem.

“The case clearly crosses the custody threshold.

“Driving like this in a pursuit puts the public in huge danger.”

Read more: Drug driver led police on eight minute chase in and around Darlington

James Fenny, representing Macleod, told the court his client has suffered trauma in the recent past over the death of two close family members.

“This is not an excuse at all,” said Mr Fenny.

The court heard the defendant was considered to be suffering with underlying low mood depression for which he is on medication.

Mr Fenny added that the defendant is taking, “the right road to address it.”

Recorder Reid said the court would require a report over the state of the defendant’s mental health prior to him being sentenced

“We will need six to eight weeks for that.”

Addressing the defendant, he told him: “I’ll adjourn for inquiries into your health and mental health and you will remain on bail on the same conditions, on an overnight home curfew."

Read next:

               Banned driver chased by police on roads through County Durham village

               Van driven erratically in police chase from A1(M) near Darlington

               Driver in County Durham police chase swerved to avoid bin wagon

Get more from The Northern Echo. Save 20% on a Premium Plus digital subscription this month.  Click here


Recorder Reid added: “You must not drive a motor car in the meantime.”

An interim driving disqualification was put in place when Macleod admitted the charges last month before the magistrates, who also made him subject of an 8pm to 7am curfew at his home address in The Meadows, Sedgefield.

Macleod was told he should return to court for sentence on Tuesday April 18.