Sparks flew when a driver led police on a chase for 11 miles.
Jason Walker, who has never held a licence, sped off in his Vauxhall van when he was seen driving with no lights, Teesside Crown Court heard
“The patrol indicated for the van to stop,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting. “It did not do so, and a pursuit ensued.
“The van was driven on the wrong side of the road as it headed along Elizabeth Way in Seaton Carew.
“It reached 50mph in a 30mph limit road lead to the seafront.
“Police deployed their stinger device, deflating two of the van’s tyres.
“Sparks could be seen coming from the steel rims as the van carried on.”
The court heard the van came to rest after hitting railings.
Walker, 23, admitted dangerous driving, driving without a licence, and driving with no insurance, all on July 15.
He has previous convictions for 27 offences.
Duncan McReddy, defending, said in mitigation: “This is his first offence of dangerous driving.
“Mr Walker is the father of a five-week-old child, and is in work.
“His employers speak well of him.”
Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Walker to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, 150 hours of community work, a rehabilitation activity requirement of 20 days, and banned him from driving for 12 months.
The judge told Walker, of Carrville Court, Stockton: “I could send you to prison for a short time, but you would lose your job.
“Had anyone been injured in this chase, it would have been immediate custody.
“You have a partner and young child to look after, and you are also now on a suspended sentence.
“That should be enough incentive to keep out of trouble.”
Walker must pay £900 costs, and he must take an extended test if he wishes to drive after the ban expires.