A PENSIONER trapped next to his dying wife in their wrecked car after a joyrider ploughed into it begged police rescuers not to let her die, a court was told yesterday.

Joseph Proffitt, 75, spoke of his 71-year-old wife Annie: "We've been together for 50 years."

But they were unable to save her in the accident as they returned home from Sunday lunch with their family, said Jeremy Hill-Baker, prosecuting.

Martin Jones, 24, who had been driving the powerful two-1itre Astra at 76mph in a 30mph area in Middlesbrough, Teesside, was jailed for eight years yesterday and banned from driving for life.

Jones, who told his lawyer he wanted a life ban, had convictions for aggravated vehicle taking, taking without consent and dangerous driving and over a dozen for driving while disqualified.

Judge Michael Taylor told him at Teesside Crown Court: "I am granting your wish.

"Any motor vehicle in your hands is a weapon. You are a grave danger to the public and I have to protect the public from you."

Jones fled the scene, leaving the Proffitts seriously injured but gave himself up to police the next day after they picked up his passenger.

Jones, of Eden Road, Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving while disqualified on January 28.

He also admitted another dangerous driving while disqualified in 1998 when he was chased at night by a police helicopter, through villages around Middlesbrough, until he crashed.