Hartlepool driver, 19, led police on 'eight minutes of madness' during chase before crash

A young driver has narrowly avoided jail for leading police on a lengthy car chase described as “eight minutes of madness”.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 3:20 pm

Spencer Maiden, 19, came close to being sent to prison for driving at “lethal speeds” around numerous built up streets on Hartlepool’s Owton Manor and Fens estates.

He was also found to have cannabis on him after he crashed into a parked car.

The chase began when Maiden driving a Ford Fiesta sped off from police in a car park on Seaton Lane just before 2pm on November 30 last year.

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The case was dealt with by Teesside Crown Court.

They had tried to pull him over after observing suspicious behaviour.

Christopher Bevan, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: "The defendant was observed speeding well in excess of the speed limit. On numerous occasions the officers observed the defendant travel at between 48 and 75 miles per hour in 30 zones.”

Video of the chase played in court showed police follow Maiden through around 20 roads and streets, many of them narrow residential roads.

Police drove at 67mph in Kesteven Road and on the A689 dual carriageway to try to keep up with him, and 69mph on Masefield Road.

Mr Bevan added: “At one point he entered the opposite side of the carriageway to overtake another vehicle.”

The pursuit came to an end in Thackeray Road when Maiden collided with a parked car.

A quantity of cannabis was also found.

Maiden only held a provisional driving licence. He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence, no insurance and possession of a Class B drug.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said: “This, one could describe in many ways; seven, eight minutes of madness.

"Thankfully nobody was hurt.”

He added Maiden, of Milne Walk, Hartlepool, was assessed as immature by the probation service but they felt they could work with him.

Mr Constantine added: “He’s clearly embarrassed and ashamed of his actions.

"He assures the court through me there will be no repeat.”

The judge, Recorder Christopher Rose, told Maiden his driving could have had “horrendous and life-changing consequences” adding: “At points you were travelling at motorway speeds.”

Maiden was given 12 months prison, suspended for two years, and banned for two years, together with 120 hours unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

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