Driver high on cocaine led police on 80mph chase around Hartlepool in stolen Mercedes before head-on crash

A lengthy high speed police chase in a stolen car around a large part of Hartlepool came to a sudden end when the drugged up driver collided head on with a police car.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 7:00 am

Scott McKinley, 32, who had taken cocaine, drove at speeds approaching 80mph in a 30mph area, went through three sets of red lights, drove on the wrong side of roads and mounted a footpath during the pursuit.

Teesside Crown Court heard he was driving a stolen red Mercedes and carrying two passengers.

He crashed head on with a police car on Tarnston Road, at Naisberry Park, leaving the officer with whiplash and off work for three weeks.

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Scott McKinley caused significant damage to a police car after a high speed chase across a large part of Hartlepool.

A judge said he did not watch footage of all of the chase because it went on for so long.

Surprisingly, McKinley walked free from court after the judge heard he had settled down with a family and had a good job since the incident back in August 2019.

Prosecutor Philip Morley described how the police chase started in Middleton Road and continued on roads including Marina Way, Huckelhoven Way, Park Road, Catcote Road, Elwick Road, Grange Road and Hart Lane.

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The police chase involving a stolen Mercedes came to an end on Tarnston Road, at Naisberry Park.

McKinley crashed into the police car while driving on the wrong side of Tarnston Road after turning off his lights.

Mr Morley said: "Both vehicles were significantly damaged and [a PC] had suffered severe pain to his nose and chest area and was unable to leave his own vehicle.”

A resident’s parked vehicle was also damaged and McKinley’s two passengers were also hurt.

McKinley, of Earlston Walk, Hartlepool, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving and no insurance.

His barrister Ian West said: "Since this incident he has become a father for the first time and he has obtained well paid self-employed work.”

In a letter to the judge bricklayer McKinley said he was ‘truly sorry’ adding: “I now have my own family and it means so much to me I will never break the law again as long as I live.”

Judge Howard Crowson said if he jailed him it would only be for a short time adding: “Since August 2019 you have already demonstrated that you may have learned that lesson.”

McKinley was given 14 months prison suspended for 12 months and banned from driving for 18 months.

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