Hartlepool drug-driver smashed into car and taxi while trying to squeeze between traffic queues during 90mph police chase

A serving prisoner who survived a murder attempt has had his sentence increased for drug-driving in Hartlepool.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 4:46 pm
Craig Beddow. Picture issued by Cleveland Police.

Craig Beddow, 37, was driving his late partner’s VW Passat, at 9.10pm on April 23 when he pulled onto Stockton Road, Hartlepool, in front of a marked police car.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said Beddow ignored the patrol car’s blue lights and accelerated to speeds of up to 90 miles an hour as he approached traffic lights where two lines of traffic were stationary.

He tried to squeeze the Passat between them but collided with a Ford Mondeo and a taxi. The taxi passenger suffered minor face injuries, and the Mondeo driver had to be cut free by the fire brigade.

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The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Beddow’s partner was a front seat passenger in the car, but she has since died.

Miss Haigh said: “The woman had got out of the Passat and she claimed to have been the driver but the officer had seen him behind the wheel.

”The defendant was trying to run off but the officer told him ‘stop pulling away, you’re arrested’.”

She said Beddow had glazed red eyes and tested positive for cannabis and amphetamines – and he was a disqualified driver.

He had 11 convictions for 31 offences including dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

In May 2019 he was jailed for five years for possessing a banned weapon and he was not due for release until next year.

Martin Scarborough said Beddow was the victim of a murder attempt when he was attacked on his doorstep by a man with a machete.

The judge told Beddow who appeared over a videolink from Holme House Prison: "It was quite appalling driving made worse by the fact that you tested positive for drugs and had previous convictions for dangerous driving.

”It does merit a separate sentence but the pre-sentence report tells me more about you, the trouble you have had, and the bereavement of your partner who was the passenger in the car.”

Beddow, formerly of Farndale, Seaton Carew, was jailed for six months consecutive to his current sentence and disqualfied for three years and until he passes an extended driving test after he pleaded guilty to two charges of driving over the drugs limit, dangerous driving, and while disqualfied and without insurance