A DRUGGED up driver who led police on a 100mph chase on the outskirts of Hartlepool has been locked up.
Nathan Watson drove on the wrong side of roads and over a playing field near a children’s playground in his desperate bid to avoid police.
The 22-year-old, who claimed he had smoked skunk cannabis and taken tranquillisers, also dodged a police stinger device as he raced down the A19 at a top speed of 100mph.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the chase, which involved the force helicopter, started in Easington Road at 1.15am on November 22, when police suspected the Renault Cleo that Watson was driving may have been stolen.
Prosecuting, Harry Hadfield said: “Police put their blue lights on and the vehicle initially slowed down, but then it accelerated and made off up the Coast Road towards Blackhall Colliery at 70mph in 30mph zones.
“The vehicle was approaching blind bends on the opposite side of the carriageway.
“On the A19 it was seen to reach 100mph on the southbound carriageway.”
Watson headed back into town along the Hart bypass and back into Easington Road.
He avoided two attempts by police to overtake him by swerving and driving over the playing field and through a housing estate before he finally stopped in King Oswy Drive.
Mr Hadfield added: “He said to the arresting officer ‘I admit it, I’m out of it on skunk’.”
Watson was abusive and swore at a doctor who tried to take a blood sample.
He admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, failing to provide a specimen and driving without a licence or insurance.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Watson had been receiving help for mental health problems and medication he was taking was working.
He said: “He clearly wasn’t in his right mind. There was very little traffic on the road.
“The way he drove was very poor. He is ashamed of what he did.”
Watson, of King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for two and a half years.
Judge Stephen Ashurst said the driving was “appalling” and there are “no excuses”. He added: “What makes your position worse is from a very early stage you knew the police were following you and you failed to stop.”