A FORMER soldier who was banned from driving led police on a 120mph chase after assaulting his partner before making off in her car.
Lucan Holliday, who saw service in Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, punched his partner Annette Hislop in the face after drinking before taking her Vauxhall Vectra.
The 33-year-old was already serving a four-year driving ban when he got behind the wheel in Brunel Close, West View, Hartlepool, on October 23.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Holliday and his partner had enjoyed a night out together.
But his mood changed when they got home and he became verbally abusive.
Holliday threatened to take the car and then lashed out after his partner’s son tried to stop him from picking up the keys and she intervened.
He punched her in the face and then snatched the keys and made off.
Holliday reached speeds of 120mph after police spotted him in the car near Stockton and tried to get him to pull over.
The court heard he swerved violently across the A19 during the chase in a bid to shake them off.
But Holliday’s getaway was brought to a halt when the car’s engine broke down and spluttered to a stop.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “The police officer illuminated his lights to indicate the vehicle to stop.
“It hit 110mph as it went over the fly-over.
“As it passed the A174 slip road it was doing 120mph and was passing vehicles on its nearside.
“After pursuing the vehicle for two miles PC Neil was confronted by a wall of smoke which filled the carriageway.
“Although it was smoking, the vehicle was still being driven at speeds of 70mph to 80mph.
“As the police car drew near the defendant swerved violently across two lanes as if to gesture not to pass him.
“Eventually it slowed down over the next couple of miles and the defendant pulled over.”
Holliday was arrested after a struggle but refused to give a roadside breath test.
He was later found to be almost twice the legal-drink drive limit after drinking up to seven bottles of cider.
Holliday, who was discharged from the services in 2002, told police he could not remember anything since leaving a pub on the Headland earlier that night.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said Holliday was a “decent, hard-working, law-abiding man” when he does not drink.
Mr Withyman added: “He realises he has a drink problem, but it’s not the classic drink problem where he is drinking all the time.
“The driving is clearly worrying, but thankfully nobody was injured and it was a relatively short period.”
He added his partner had forgiven him and he had sought help himself for his drink problem.
Holliday, of Tankerville Street, Hartlepool, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, assault by beating, driving while disqualified, drink driving and driving without insurance.
He was given 12 months prison which was suspended for two years with 18 months probation, alcohol treatment and 150 hours community service.
He was also banned from driving for another six years.
Judge Tony Briggs said: “Clearly driving in the way that you did was undoubtedly dangerous.
“As it happens no-one was harmed but it must have been a pretty terrifying experience to chase you, and for you to be brought to a halt because the engine blew up.”