Danger driver sped from police after being spotted behind the wheel while banned

The case was heard at Durham Crown Court.
The case was heard at Durham Crown Court.

A disqualified driver who led police on a chase both on and off road has been jailed for 18 months.

Andrew Farmer had recently been released from prison for another offence of dangerous driving when he was seen behind the wheel in Shotton Colliery, Durham Crown Court heard.

The court heard Farmed was spotted by police officers two days running driving the same car.

Farmer had a history of driving offences and the court heard he had been released from prison “shortly before these latest offences”.

The judge in the case said the driving was “clearly dangerous, putting people at risk both on and off the road”.

“He was spotted by a detective,” said Paul Abrahams, prosecuting.

“There is no suggestion he was driving dangerously at that point, but he was disqualified.

“A day later he was seen by a mobile police patrol driving the same car.

“The patrol illuminated its blue lights, but the car sped away along Friar Street in Shotton Colliery.

“During the pursuit that followed, the car drove three times across grassed areas, and narrowly missed other cars when it was on the road.

“It also narrowly missed a pedestrian.

“The pursuit ended when the car attempted to cross a ditch in a field.

“It failed, coming to rest nose-down in the ditch.

“The defendant fled, but was arrested the following day.”

Farmer, 28, of Park Terrace, Horden, admitted two charges of driving while disqualified, and a charge of dangerous driving, on March 1 and 2.

Martin Scarborough, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Farmer is entirely realistic about the outcome of these proceedings.

“He knows with his record there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.

“It was a stupid and dangerous piece of driving for which Mr Farmer knows he will pay for with the loss of his liberty.”

Judge Deborah Sherwin jailed Farmer for 18 months, and banned him from driving for 39 months.

The judge told Farmer: “You have a number of previous convictions for motoring offences, and can only have been released from prison shortly before these latest offences.

“The driving was clearly dangerous, putting people at risk both on and off the road.

“There is no alternative to another sentence of imprisonment.”

Farmer must take an extended driving test if he wishes to hold a licence after his ban expires.