A banned driver jailed recently after a high-speed chase while carrying a child passenger must pass an extended re-test to legally take to the road in future.

Ben Coe admitted dangerous driving arising from a police chase, on and off the A183 Chester-le-Street to Sunderland road, in the Shiney Row area, late on Wednesday, August 16 this year.

Durham Crown Court heard that the police pursuers even backed off, at one stage, considering it too dangerous to continue the chase.

Coe, who was at the wheel of a Seat Altea, came to police attention leaving Shiney Row roundabout, on Chester Road, at speed, at 11.30pm.

The Northern Echo: Ben Coe fled police who spotted him driving at speed leaving Shiney Row roundabout

He accelerated to more than double the limit on nearby residential streets, made dangerous turns, drove across grassed areas and negotiated a narrow gap between a small fence as the police followed with blue lights and siren activated.

Although the police pursuers lost sight of the Seat at one point and the officers considered it unsafe to carry on in the residential streets, they continued to search for the Altea.

Read more: Drink driver arrested after 80-mph chase in Shiney Row

Tyre tracks on grass off Hunter Street led them to the car, the engine of which was still running.

Coe surrendered to police but failed to provide a roadside breath sample.

In a later test at the police station he gave a reading of 57mg of alcohol in breath, compared to the legal driving limit of 35mg.

The officers at the scene noticed there was a young child unbuckled in a passenger seat, with a female in the front passenger seat.

Although 24-year-old Coe, said to be of no fixed abode, refused to comment to police in interview, he did, subsequently, plead guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol in his system, while he was uninsured and the subject of a disqualification.

Read more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

The court heard he has a drink driving conviction from July last year and was subject of a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, imposed for an attempted robbery offence, at York Crown Court on March 7, this year.

His latest convicton put him in breach of that suspended sentence.

Coe’s court representative, counsel Michael Cahill, said that in the defendant’s own words, he knew he had, “messed up” and was aware his actions on the night of the incident were, “unacceptable”.

Judge Jo Kidd, told Coe he was, “extraordinarily lucky” to have received the suspended sentence in March.

She said the manner of his driving that night put himself, and his passengers, including the three-year-old child, “in extreme peril”.

Judge Kidd imposed a 12-month prison sentence for the dangerous driving offence, but also activated the full 16 months of the suspended sentence order, consecutively, making a total of 28-months’ imprisonment.

Coe was also banned from driving for three years upon his release from the custodial element of that sentence.

Read next:

St Helen Auckland man concealed criminal money in network of accounts

Ex-serviceman ran harassment campaign on Sacriston neighbour

Shildon man jailed for 14 years for aggravated burglary in Trimdon

Subscribe to The Northern Echo for more news from the region for as little as £1.50 a week, by clicking here

Judge Kidd today (Thursday, October 19) recalled the case to court, with Coe appearing via video link from Holme House Prison, Stockton, where he is now serving his sentence.

She told Coe that she made an error when sentencing him last month, as, upon conviction for dangerous driving, defendants have to be made subject of a mandatory extended re-test on expiry of their disqualification period, before they can be legally entitled to drive.

So, she told the defendant that if he does not sit an extended test, after his ban expires, he will be unable to have his licence back.