A teenager who crashed a stolen BMW into a police car before speeding off at 70mph was told he would have gone straight to prison if the offence was committed when he was an adult.

Jake Stoker’s high-speed dangerous driving came to a shuddering halt when he ploughed the car into two parked vehicles.

The 18-year-old, who was 17 at the time of the offence, was arrested at the scene when he was spotted getting out of the driver’s door, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard.

Paige Sparks, prosecuting, said the teenager’s dangerous driving resulted in two cars being written off, including the stolen BMW.

She said: “Police spotted car at around 7pm, the defendant was driving and failed to stop and on making off, he rammed the police car.

“He drove off at speeds of up to 70mph and drove through a red light.

“He lost control of the car and collided with a Suzuki Swift which was written off, before crashing into two parked cars, one being written off and the other suffering substantial front-end damage.”

The owner of one of the cars which was written off described the BMW as travelling at a ‘phenomenal’ speed when it crashed.

The teenager was arrested after he was caught driving dangerously along Durham Road, Grayson Road and Clyde Terrace in Spennymoor, during the police chase.

Stoker, of Brookside, Evenwood, near Bishop Auckland, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with insurance, and driving without a licence following the incident on March 18 last year.

Neil Douglas, mitigating, said his client would been dealt with in the youth court if there had not been a seven-month delay between the offence happening and a court summons being issued.

He said: “They found the BMW key in a car park and went round to find out which one it opened. They when went on to use the car.

“Stupidly, he panicked on seeing the police – his driving had been sub-standard anyway. He knows that what he has done is wrong and he didn’t try to justify his actions.”

Alan Adams, chairman of the bench, sentenced the teenager to six-months in custody suspended for two years.

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He said: “It is difficult to see, other than somebody being hurt, how this offending could have been worse.

“If you had been an adult at the time of the offences you would have been going to prison.”

Stoker was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,400 in compensation.

The teenager was also banned from driving for two years.