A MOTORIST was yesterday ordered to pay compensation to a police officer who was dragged along the ground during a high-speed chase through Darlington town centre.

South Durham Magistrates' Court was told that Adrian Williams, of Tennyson Gardens, Darlington, injured the officer during a police pursuit in the town in September.

Williams, a truck driver who was driving a Ford Orion car at the time, had been stopped by police in Carmel Road North after travelling at more than twice the speed limit and on the wrong side of the road.

Magistrates heard a male police officer tried to restrain Williams, 30, by reaching into the car and holding on to him.

David Maddison, prosecuting, said Williams reversed his car into the police car, injuring the female officer inside.

He then drove off and dragged the officer holding on to him 15 metres along the ground before he let go.

Williams was again chased through the town at 70mph in places before his car hit a wall and came to a stop.

Police were forced to spray him with CS gas in case he tried to escape a second time.

Williams yesterday admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to provide a blood test for police.

He wept in court as magistrates told him he had been charged with "a very serious offence."

He was given a 12-month community rehabilitation order, told to pay £50 compensation to both police officers that were injured in the incident, and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Trevor Jones, defending, described Williams as a highly stressed man who had shown remorse for his actions.

He had told police that he had "just lost it" on the night in question after having a dispute with his ex-partner at her house in Yarm.