120mph drink-drive crash man walks free

A DRINK driver who crashed after a 120mph police chase has walked free from court.

James Bridgewater, who was almost twice the legal drink-drive limit, sped from police in Newcastle on a 20-mile chase.

Newcastle Crown Court heard police had tried to pull him over when they saw him get behind the wheel in Mosley Street in the city in the early hours of the morning last November.

But the 20-year-old drove through a red light and ignored the officers’ requests and only came to a stop when he crashed into railings at a roundabout at the Seaham turnoff of the A19.

Bridgewater, of Waverley Close, Shotton Colliery, admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Prosecuting, Dane Spence said police had initially abandoned the pursuit after Bridgewater continued to ignore their flashing blue lights in Newcastle and put out an alert to other officers.

But he was spotted again and Miss Spence said: “He continued south on the A19 in excess of 100mph, in fact he was clocked at 120mph at one point.”

The court heard even after Bridgewater crashed into a roundabout barrier after travelling onto the B1404 and wedged the driver’s door shut, he tried to slide over to the passenger side of the car so he could get away.

Miss Spence added: “He said ‘I’ve been done for drink driving before and I don’t want to get done again’.”

Recorder Bryan Cox sentenced Bridgewater, who spent 159 days in custody on remand, to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision, and a three-year driving ban.