A RECKLESS driver who led police on a high-speed chase across a housing estate has narrowly avoided jail.
Patrick Bradley, 21, sped in a Vauxhall Vectra on the wrong side of the road, drove straight over a crossroads, narrowly missed another vehicle and raced across grassed areas.
When he evaded capture by a police car, he dumped the vehicle and ran off, but was spotted by the Cleveland Police helicopter and arrested while hiding behind a door in a nearby house.
Bradley, of Innes Road, Hartlepool, who has 13 offences on his record, including driving while disqualified, admitted dangerous driving on May 22 last year.
The court heard he raced around the Owton Manor estate in Hartlepool at speeds of up to 60mph.
Bradley was followed by police as he raced along Catcote Road, Owton Manor Lane, Highland Road, The Goldmine car park, Wynyard Road, Kilmarnock Road, back into Wynyard Road, Glamis Walk, Kilmarnock Road, Wynyard Road.
Police then lost sight of Bradley’s hatchback car before he abandoned the vehicle.
But the helicopter spotted him going into a house in Eddleston Walk and he was found hiding behind a door.
Teesside Crown Court heard Bradley then told police: “That driving was brilliant.”
But Judge Les Spittle told him: “Your driving certainly wasn’t brilliant, it was appalling. You may have thought it was great or exciting. It wasn’t.”
Judge Spittle told Bradley: “I, like other people, watch television and I occasionally come across those that show people like you driving cars dangerously.
“I don’t think it’s amusing or exciting or anything like that. I am just appalled as most members of the public will be by the driving exhibited there.”
Jane Foley, mitigating, described Bradley as immature, but said a probation worker thought he might be able change his ways.
“Essentially, he has struggled in the past with drugs and alcohol, and that, it seems, underpins his historic offending,” Miss Foley told the judge.
As Bradley’s mother wept in the public gallery, the barrister added: “He needs to take on board the effect it has on the people who care for him.”
Bradley was given a 15-month prison sentence that was suspended for two years and a two-year supervision order.
But he was warned by the judge that he will be locked up if he breaches his suspended sentence or fails with his supervision.
He was also ordered to take an extended test after serving a three-year ban, and the judge said: “You really have to prove you’re a good driver to pass.”